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The blog is where we'll post news, updates, information about objects in our collection, #betterworkstories, profiles of staff members and visitors, pictures and videos, and really anything we think you'd find interesting. We hope you enjoy. 

If there's a topic you'd like us to do a post about, or a post that you think needs a sequel, just let us know!

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Facial reconstruction of an Egyptian mummy

How did this mummy end up in Otago Museum? Over 100 years ago, in 1894, the Otago Museum received an Egyptian mummy. We don’t know much about its provenance, except that Bendix Hallenstein, one of the Museum’s early benefactors, bought it for the Museum from the German Consul in Luxor, Egypt. He was told that it had come from within Thebes, the ancient city that Luxor was built around.  Who was the mummy? The hieroglyphics on the outside of the coffin tell us little about who this person was. From radiology images obtained by scanning her body in the year 2000, we know that she was an elderly woman. It is...

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Egyptian mummy press release

Press release for the facial reconstruction of resident Egyptian mummy

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The Month Ahead @ OM: October

School holidays, and the Museum is abuzz with activity! October offers plenty of events and activities to inspire and excite!
The absolute highlight is the fantastic Life before Dinosaurs: Permian Monsters exhibition – a travelling exhibition from Gondwana Studios. It brings the past back to life with fossilised skeletons and life-size animatronic models of the animals that ruled the world millions of years before the age of dinosaurs. The exhibition also blends art and science with a collection of new artwork that offers a glimpse...

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Lighten up!

Welcome to the second in our blog series introducing the science behind some of the new interactives to be revealed when the Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre opens in December. Here, Science Communicator Catriona Gower sheds some light on light! An absence of light means everything appears completely dark, effectively black, yet light is not simply white. Nor is it grey! So what is it? Let’s start at the beginning, and the source of all our energy: the sun. The sun floods us with light and heat (forms of energy) that all life on Earth depends on. The sun produces this energy with a whole range (or spectrum) of wavelengths. Some...

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New science centre name – Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre

Arrival of interactives Media release Otago Museum’s former Discovery World Tropical Forest is undergoing a $2.5 million redevelopment and will reopen in December chock-full of exciting new interactives and with a new name: Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre. This name reflects the dual knowledge bases of scientific understanding and Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) to explore and explain the world we live in. Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre is supported by $500,000 in funding from the Otago Community Trust. It will be home to 50 new hands-on science interactives and a refreshed Tropical Forest butterfly house. The centre will also encompass the world-first, digitally interactive Beautiful Science Gallery and Perpetual Guardian Planetarium,...

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Leopard seal pup’s lungs were failing, CT scan shows

A leopard seal pup born off St Kilda Beach, Dunedin, on Tuesday has been found to have had only  ten percent of normal lung capacity. The pup was euthanised on Wednesday after a vet determined it could not be saved. NIWA cetacean biologist and leopard seal expert Dr Krista Hupman was part of a team that arranged for a CT and MRI scan of the pup – the first MRI scan carried out on any seal worldwide. Dr Hupman said results showed the pup’s lungs were filled with fluid and were barely working. “Unfortunately this meant if the seal hadn’t been euthanised it would have endured a slow and painful death. It was...

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In the belly of a trout

A couple of keen outdoors men, Ray Webb and Terry Arthur, touch base with the Natural Science team semi-regularly; we enjoy hearing about their adventures in wild places around Otago.    Central otago Landscape Image: Loganburn Reservoir |  Astrid Erasmuson   Last year they had a successful day brown trout fishing at Loganburn Reservoir, part of the upper tributary of the Taieri River, high in the Lammermoor Range. Terry bagged a five pound (2.2 kg) brown trout, and as they gutted and prepared the fish they found some interesting stomach contents.    Crayfish Stomach contents of a large trout, caught by Terry Arthur | Image: Ray Webb   The trout had recently made a meal of at...

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Rare striped dolphin stranding death on Warrington Beach

A rare species of dolphin was found dead on Thursday 21 September at Warrington Beach, 30 km north of Dunedin. Footage of what appears to be the same animal being encouraged away from the shore by members of the public at Doctors Point on Wednesday has also since appeared on social media. Thursday’s high tides and a heavy swell meant that Department of Conservation rangers and local rūnaka representatives for Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki needed to act quickly to collect the animal from the beach. The dolphin was taken to the Otago Museum to complete the stranding report, which include identifying sex, taking a series of standard measurements, photography, and collecting a...

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Donation of Museum’s Discovery World interactives

The Discovery World interactives being handed over and installed   With the development of the new science centre well underway, exhibits from the now-closed Discovery World are being relocated to new homes. The air cannon and the magnetic crane from the original Discovery World at Otago Museum are being donated to the children’s ward at Dunedin Public Hospital, with the install set to take place on Tuesday 26 September. “The Paediatric inpatient unit uses distraction therapy as part of the holistic care it provides to the children in our service. We are extremely grateful to the Museum for the donation of such items. They will be very much appreciated by the children who...

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Meet Museum Guide Amanda, who has been working at the Otago Museum for seven months, combining her knowledge of archaeology with her passion for sharing the Museum’s interesting stories with our visitors.

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Our blog aims to keep you informed of the latest happenings at the Otago Museum, through posts about our collections, our people and our work.


The views expressed here are those of our individual contributors, and are not the views of the Otago Museum.


All content of this blog is Copyright Otago Museum, 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the Otago Museum, except for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, review, or education, as provided for in the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994.