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419 Great King Street Dunedin, New Zealand


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!

Ahi Pepe goes to Whanganui

Words and photos by Kane Fleury, Assistant Curator, Natural Science

Recently I represented the Museum at the Ahi Pepe MothNet North Island moth camp that was hosted by Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Atihaunui ā Pāpārangi and Putiki Marae in Whanganui. I was there alongside representatives from other partners Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, Ngāi Tahu, and Orokanui Ecosanctuary, Te Tumu and the geography departments from the University of Otago. The kids from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti also came along so that they could teach the other kura what they have learnt from being part of Ahi Pepe...

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Lab in a Box, taking science to the nation

Lab in a Box is a fully equipped, mobile research lab designed to engage and enthuse New Zealanders about science. Conceived by University of Otago’s Professor Peter Dearden, the portable research lab within a 20ft shipping container has hosted over 300 sessions across 52 schools since late 2015.

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The dinosaurs are dead, long live the dinosaurs!

Life before Dinosaurs: Permian Monsters closes 25 February 2018. Here Marketing Assistant Louis Graham explores the meaning behind the name

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2018 Otago Wildlife Photography Competition closing soon

Otago Museum’s 19th annual Otago Wildlife Photography Competition draws to a close this month, with entries closing at midday on Friday 23 February 2018.

Amateur photographers and videographers from around Otago are encouraged to enter their best Plant, Animal, Pets, Night Skies or Human Impact on the Environment shots, or videos of Wildlife in Action. They will be in to win great prizes and the chance to feature in the Museum’s 2018 Otago Wildlife Photography Exhibition.

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Kia Rapua Pop-up Science Playground Launch


Kids love playing and this is play with a difference! A playground of science-themed fun is launching this weekend on the Museum Reserve.  The ‘Kia Rapua’ Science Playground is designed to encourage children’s natural curiosity and sense of exploration. Aimed at children between three and seven years old, it introduces the concepts of sound, colour, textures, ramps and building – all through hands-on play.

The free playground will be open to the public only on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January on the Museum Reserve from 11am until 4pm.

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Leopard seal pup to be added to Otago Museum collection

A leopard seal pup which was born and died at St Kilda Beach, Dunedin , on 26 September 2017, is about to be taxidermied and eventually put on display at Otago Museum.

Peter Wells, who has been contracted to undertake the work, is one of New Zealand’s leading bird and fish taxidermists. Wells is visiting from Blenheim to complete the initial preparation work, and will then return to his workshop where, the seal pup’s skin will be tanned, treated and fitted to a custom-made mount to complete the taxidermy.

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Terrific terrains

Here’s the next in our blog series introducing the science associated with some of the exciting interactives in the newly opened Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre. Isobel Andrewartha, Science Communicator, Operations, shares some of her favourite terrain terminology. Terrain is the physical landscape, above and below sea level. Common features are familiar to us all: mountains, plains, hills, lakes. But there are lesser-known types of terrain out there as well; some have names you might not have come across. These are a few of my favourites: *Thalweg –* the lowest lying part of a valley (often underwater in a river). Thalwegs are important because many countries or states define their borders...

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The New Year and the month ahead

  The Museum has been buzzing with excitement since the December opening of our amazing Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre which includes the refreshed Tropical Forest butterfly enclosure. Our visitors are loving trying out all the fantastic new interactives as well as seeing the butterflies again, and meeting the new giant stick insects. Come along at 1.30pm in the weekends to get up-close and personal with these gentle giants (included with your Tūhura admission). You need plenty of time to have a go at everything as well as see the butterflies, so we are offering a great new deal – an annual pass for Tūhura so you can spend as much...

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I See Red

The Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre opens this Saturday 16 December. In this blog series the Museum’s communicators introduce the science associated with some of the exciting new interactives. Here Science and Education Communicator Nick Yeats explores how the colour red impacts on humans and other animals.

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The Month Ahead @ OM : December

December has arrived and excitement is mounting with the opening of Tūhura! This is followed by our Christmas festivities – Christmas @ OM performers and the Elves’ Workshop and Makerspace. Join us for lots of seasonal fun!

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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.