• New fossil seal species rewrites history

    A fossil discovery in New Zealand has revealed a new species of monk seal, the first monk seal, living or extinct, ever found in the Southern Hemisphere. Curator Vertebrates Felix Marx talks about what this discovery means.

  • Composite of five photos of three young women and two young men holding their objects for the co-collecting project. They are holding a seafood shop uniform, a yellow shirt, a necklace, drum sticks, and a pillowcase

    Co-collecting with Tongan youth

    This week we’re celebrating Tongan Language Week by taking a look back at Project 83: Small Things Matter in 2017. This co-collecting project was developed by the Year 13 Tongan language class of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate with the guidance of their teacher Mrs Maata Fusitua, HOD Lea Faka-Tonga.

  • Does life get any better than this? The moon over our tranquil and stunning backcountry campsite in the Eyre Mountains, 9 Feb 2020. Photo by Heidi Meudt Te Papa.

    Photo essay: Remote field work collecting forget-me-nots in the South Island

    Take a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to do remote forget-me-nots field work at stunning but remote South Island sites in Feb 2020 with Botany Researcher Heidi Meudt and Collection Manager Antony Kusabs.

A painting of a seal in the sea with small fish in front of it

A fossil discovery in New Zealand has revealed a new species of seal that once called Australasia home. Eomonachus belegaerensis is the first monk seal, living or extinct, ever found in the Southern Hemisphere. Its presence in our region turns the evolution of southern seals on its head. Curator Vertebrates Felix Marx talks about what this discovery means.Read more

A collection of slides of 14 gnats in one image

Assistant researcher Shaun Thompson is working with Curator Julia Kasper studying the lives of fungus gnats, one of the biggest Diptera groups in New Zealand. They aim to provide updated species descriptions and distribution records which may help detect invasive exotic species present in New Zealand, prevent the loss of these gnat species and avert harm to our ecosystem.Read more

The 14,000th image loaded on New Zealand Birds Online was of a recently-fledged banded dotterel chick, taken by Derek Templeton. The image was taken near Blenheim, where Derek is based. Here, Derek answers a few questions about how he got involved in wildlife photography, and why he started contributing images to New Zealand Birds Online.Read more

A man holding a camera in front of a specimen wall

At Te Papa we appreciate any opportunity to improve our learning programmes and adapt them to the needs of learners. In early August we were preparing to deliver our Pacific Explorers programme to four classes of years three to five from Taita Central School. Little did we know how coronavirus would give us the opportunity to adapt the programme to be even more accessible and successful than any iteration so far.Read more

Ten people trying to move a pilot whale off the beach.

This week David Hocking, Research Fellow at Australia’s School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, and our Curator Vertebrates Felix Marx wrote the following short article for Monash Lens, the University’s in-house journal, on the ongoing pilot whale mass stranding in Tasmania. It is reprinted here in its entirety.Read more