Early Miocene mosquito from the Dominican Republic. Photo by Didier Desouens.

I first saw the movie Jurassic Park as a high school student when it was released 20 years ago.  At the time it led to a sudden rise in the number of children obsessed with dinosaurs and wanting to be palaeontologists.  But for me it was all about the scientists workingRead more

Te Papa Conservator Robert Clendon removes Phar Lap’s skull from the rest of the skeleton, before extracting one of the incisor teeth. Photo Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

Earlier this year, Te Papa received a request from scientists in Australia for a tooth sample from legendary race horse Phar Lap. The scientists are hoping to extract DNA from the tooth.  Then they will be able to compare Phar Lap’s DNA with other horses. Press release from the scientistsRead more

Articulated kiwi skeleton from Te Papa's collection. Photo by Lara Shepherd.

A number of biological specimens in Te Papa’s collection, particularly old specimens, lack information about when and where they were collected. This information may have been lost since the specimen was collected or was simply not recorded at the time. However, all is not lost! Sometimes we can use DNARead more