It’s a lovely spring Friday morning in Wellington. What else would we (Pamela, Chris and Judy – our brave and newest squid team member) be doing other than dissecting a couple of nice fresh squid from the local wholesale fish supplier? It’s all in the interest of bringing you a bigger andRead more

Bioluminescence (light produced by living animals or plants) is common among squid – it is estimated that two-thirds of all squid genera contain bioluminescent (light producing) species. Light production using photophores (special light producing structures) can be found nearly anywhere on the body of some squid species: the most common ones are:Read more

The squid has been stitched as much as we can – Steve describes it as trying to sew two blocks of butter together. As we re-fill the tank with the glycol mixture we are placing bags filled with water to spread the mantle out and give it some support. BeingRead more

Specimens in museum collections are usually preserved in a 70 per cent aqueous solution of ethyl alcohol or in a 2-4 per cent solution of formaldehyde (5-10 per cent formalin). The great disadvantages of ethyl alcohol are that it is flammable, it volatilizes very readily, it tends to produce precipitatesRead more

The hooks seem to grab everyone’s attention, so here’s an update 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,Read more

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