A red fungi that looks like an egg beater with all the stalks joining at the top

Autumn is upon us and many fungi are emerging. Our Research Scientist Lara Shepherd takes us on a photo tour of New Zealand’s diverse fungi, lists resources to help you identify your fungal finds, and discusses that age-old question – can I eat it? New Zealand boasts a splendid arrayRead more

Over the course of many years, a tidy collection of bird eggs has made its way across the world. The collection’s final resting place just so happens to be here at Te Papa, where Natural History intern Isabella Milner has steadily worked through cataloguing it, and packing the eggs away into their forever homes. Here she describes how eggs are identified despite having very little information to go on.Read more

In a collaboration between National Services Te Paerangi and Whanganui Regional Museum, Te Papa’s bicultural researcher Hokimate Harwood brought her extensive feather identification skills to a community of 30 weavers and bird enthusiasts earlier this year. Hokimate’s feather identification research looks to decode materials and messages within kākahu | featherRead more

Dance garment, c. 1900, Malawi (Chewa culture), Photograph by Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa MA_I.374711

You’ve probably seen forensic scientists on TV taking swabs and fingerprints from crime scenes. They aren’t wearing labcoats, hairnets and gloves to look cool but to prevent them contaminating their forensic evidence with their own DNA. But how do scientists deal with items that are already contaminated with unwanted humanRead more

Dance garment, c. 1900, Malawi (Chewa culture), Photograph by Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa MA_I.374711

Witchy tale In 1936, the Dominion Museum was given a gift so rare and strange that it made the news.  Described in the Auckland Star and in museum records as a “witch doctor’s outfit”, the garment was subsequently displayed for many years in the Buckle St building that opened thatRead more

It’s getting cooler and wetter – ideal for the emergence of many fungi. This was brought home to me when I recently discovered an abundance of this distinctive little mushroom while holidaying near Rotorua. In places, I could barely step without squashing one of these blue beauties. Entoloma hochstetteri isRead more

In early March, Te Papa Tongarewa was asked by an overseas museum if they could borrow ‘amakua hulu manu Kūka’ilimoku (feathered image) for an exhibition. As part of the process to allow or decline a loan, all the materials that make up an object need to be identified. We wereRead more