So I’m at my desk when my cell rings – its Anton (you know – our Collection Manager Marine Mammals)… “Do you wanna see a dead whale?” Of course! So off I trot (nice and quicksmart in time with whatever’s playing on my MP3) – not even worrying about whatRead more

On Sunday evening 11 May 2008 Te Papa closed Whales|Tohorā. Over 140,000 people had visited the exhibition. During the morning several killer whales, or orca, played by the fountain in Oriental Bay – much to the delight and amazement of several of the Whales exhibition team members. We like toRead more

Some of the topics we’re exploring in the 20th Century History exhibition relate to major local and international events, some are aligned with social or technological changes, and some revolve around personalities. One of New Zealand’s most memorable personalities was Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. Muldoon dominated public life in the 1970sRead more

We’re very impressed and gratified by the response so far to our World War One Memorial Project. Since its launch last month, we’ve had 95 images of New Zealand memorials contributed from all over the country. The towns and cities so far represented are: Akaroa, Alexandra, Auckland, Cambridge, Eastbourne, Glenorchy, Hawera,Read more

Above is a picture of the Pygmy right whale lung, it’s about 45cm long when stretched out like it is below. The lungs sit under the backbone of the whale and isn’t divided into lobes like human lungs are. The scientists told me that they think it’s smaller than usualRead more

Above you see the tongue of the baby pygmy right whale. Whales lips aren’t flexible enough to form a suction around the mother’s nipple like human babies do. To latch on to the mother’s nipple, a baby whale curls its tongue. A good suction is assisted by the flaps onRead more

Now that we have some time, we will upload some of the other photos taken. Dr Tsunemi Kubodera, Steve O’Shea and Olaf Blaauw examine the smaller, damaged colossal squid on Tuesday, 29th April. Below are some of the close ups of the tentacles, suckers and hooks. You can find outRead more

We just found the ovaries – the specimen is a girl! Here’s an image from the microscope video (x150) – showing a bunch of eggs….the ovaries are full of several thousands of eggs!Read more

My name is Prof. Eric Warrant from the University of Lund in Sweden (blonde hair, blue glasses), and I am here together with Prof. Dan Nilsson (also from Lund) to study the gigantic eyes of the colossal squid. These are truly amazing eyes – in the collapsed state we seeRead more

  As the specimen is still folded in a block we are using an underwater camera to determine how the specimen is positioned. The camera revealed the eye! The eye is HUGE! The lens alone is 50 mm across, but we won’t be able to get an exact measurement untilRead more

The hooks seem to grab everyone’s attention (pun intended). Other squid families have hooks on the arms, or the tentacles, or both, but the colossal squid is the only hooked squid in its family (the Cranchiidae, about 20 species). It possesses hooks on each of the eight arms, and alsoRead more