Hagfish teeth

Not many of you will believe that hagfish, also called snot-eels, are fascinating creatures, but they truly are. You will only be able to believe me after reading this post. I still persist saying that I am not falling in love with them but some of my colleagues start worryingRead more

Loading up the Tranquil Image with gear

A Te Papa expedition, in collaboration with Massey University, is going to study the fish fauna of the Kermadec Islands, some 1000km North of mainland New Zealand. We left Tauranga aboard the MV Tranquil Image yesterday. Loading all the gear on the deck was a bit more of a challengeRead more

An exhibition of Mäori fish-hooks (matau) made from wood, bone, stone, and shell opens at Te Papa on Saturday December 4th. While early European explorers considered these fish-hooks to be ‘ill-made’ and ‘of doubtful efficacy’, research has shown that the design was highly effective. Unlike modern steel hooks, the MäoriRead more

Hagfish teeth. Not difficult to understand that they are very efficient scavengers of the deep. Te Papa, photograph by Vincent Zintzen.

Te Papa fish team is off Kaikoura onboard the MV Star Keys to study deep-sea fish fauna. We have just finished our third day of sampling off Kaikoura. So far, everything goes well, and we are progressing at a good pace with our sampling. It has been difficult to haveRead more

Scientists preparing video unit before its deployment at 1200 m depth. March 2010, Three Kings Islands. Te Papa, photograph by Vincent Zintzen

The start of a new sampling campaign is always a very exciting moment for scientists. After months of careful preparations, our fourth deep-sea sampling station is becoming a reality. In three days, Carl, Tom and myself from Te Papa are joining our boat the Star Keys, her crew and two other scientists from MasseyRead more

This morning, our fish team went to a small boatshed in Breaker Bay on Wellington’s south coast to pick up a great white shark.  Not your normal morning mission and a bittersweet one at that as these creatures are endagered animals and a protected species.  The shark had been ensnaredRead more

Te Papa scientists recovering a video unit sent underwater to film deep-sea fish life.

As research scientist for the Marsden funded project on diversity of deep-sea fishes of New Zealand, I have to analyse hundreds of hours of video footage taken during our surveys. Sometimes, amazing creatures appear on the screen, often when you least suspect it. Here is a shot that really surprisedRead more