Mystery Object: What animal laid this enormous egg?

By Dr Jonathan Cramb, Discovery Centre Information Officer Identifying obscure and bizarre objects is all in a day’s work for staff in the Queensland Museum Discovery Centre! What animal laid this enormous egg? The replica egg is huge! It’s much bigger than any egg laid by any living Australian bird. The giant egg replica even dwarfs the egg of an Ostrich, which has the largest … Continue reading Mystery Object: What animal laid this enormous egg?

Chapter 3: 1969 – 1999 (30 years) Out with the old and in with the new | QMN History

In 1969, Alan Bartholomai was appointed Director, coming into office in a time of great growth in Queensland. Museums and universities were expanding at a fast pace and graduates were being employed. At Queensland Museum new curatorships were created in arachnology, molluscs, history and technology, higher invertebrates, lower invertebrates, industrial archaeology, maritime archaeology, lower entomology and scientist in charge of materials conservation. It was also … Continue reading Chapter 3: 1969 – 1999 (30 years) Out with the old and in with the new | QMN History

Telling the snail story

by Dr John Stanisic OAM ‘The Snail Whisperer’, Honorary Research Fellow, Queensland Museum As Curator of Molluscs at Queensland Museum for 26 years, I spent most of my time collecting and documenting the land snails of Queensland. Over that time, more than 900 new species were discovered. Now as Honorary Research Fellow, I divide my time between research and telling the snail story in schools … Continue reading Telling the snail story

Scientists shell shocked at rare new species

A donation of an extensive and scientifically important shell collection to Queensland Museum has led to the discovery of a new species of mollusc by a museum curator. Amoria thorae, a new species of the carnivorous volute family of marine snails, was named in honour of long-time Brisbane resident Mrs Thora Whitehead, whose collection was recently donated to the museum. I knew of a possible … Continue reading Scientists shell shocked at rare new species

Have you tried Coffee and Chicory Essence?

by Nick Hadnutt, Curator, Archaeology, Queensland Museum Like many people around the world, I start my day with a coffee. I drink it, I enjoy it and I forget about it. We have so many options to choose from – flavour, origin of beans, types of beans and how they are grown. This International Coffee Day (celebrated annually on 1 October), I was inspired to … Continue reading Have you tried Coffee and Chicory Essence?

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 24]: Marson Collection Revealed: Part 2 with Karen Kindt 

The Marson Collection Revealed is a two-part series. Listen to part one with Dr Kirsty Gillespie. Music is significant to all cultures across history. The breadth of the 830 traditional musical instruments that make up Marson Collection demonstrates the wide diversity of ways in which different cultures have made music. You’re listening to part two of Marson Collection Revealed. Discover more fascinating details of this … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 24]: Marson Collection Revealed: Part 2 with Karen Kindt 

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 23]: Marson Collection Revealed: Part 1 with Dr Kirsty Gillespie

From celebrations to break-ups, good times to sad times, there’s no doubt music is a major part of our lives. Music is a form of self-expression, and something that we as humans can all relate and connect to on an emotional level. Over two episodes we are going to reveal a special “living” collection which consists of 830 traditional musical instruments from around the world. … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 23]: Marson Collection Revealed: Part 1 with Dr Kirsty Gillespie

Dimmick family visit Anzac Legacy Gallery at Queensland Museum

After searching for descendants of WW1 soldier Leonard Dimmick, since 2017, it was finally great to meet Leonard’s grandchildren and great grandchildren when they visited our Anzac Legacy Gallery to see his war memorabilia on display. In 1923, Leonard’s father donated a number of items to the museum, which Leonard sent home to Australia while serving in the war. Some of these items include a … Continue reading Dimmick family visit Anzac Legacy Gallery at Queensland Museum

A rare skink and a case of mistaken identity

By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Queensland Museum Tryon’s skink (now Karma tryoni) was described in 1918 by Heber Longman at Queensland Museum. Its description was based on two specimens collected by Henry Tryon in the McPherson Range on the Queensland/New South Wales border. However, until recently this species was overlooked because taxonomists regarded it as conspecific (the same species as) with … Continue reading A rare skink and a case of mistaken identity

Mystery Object: Can you hear the ocean with this?

Identifying obscure and bizarre objects is all in a day’s work for staff in the Queensland Museum Discovery Centre! Today Dr Jonathan Cramb, Information Officer joins us to share his mystery object of the month. Can you hear the ocean with this? The Mystery These objects were given to the museum as part of an old teaching collection. They are about 10.5 centimetres long and … Continue reading Mystery Object: Can you hear the ocean with this?

Trolley of Death

I have yet to meet anyone that isn’t fascinated by venomous creatures and their potential to… well, kill you. Australia is full of them and some are not always what you would expect! Working at the museum means I have access to a whole host of natural history objects. Recently I had to do a photoshoot featuring some of the venomous animals I work on. … Continue reading Trolley of Death

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 22]: Climate change impacts on marine invertebrates with Dr Sue-Ann Watson

Imagine you’re a scientist, diving into the freezing cold waters of the Antarctic. You’re not there to observe the larger organisms so closely associated with that part of the world – whales, seals and impossibly cute penguins – but the smallest: the marine invertebrates. What is it about these lesser-known creatures, the ones we rarely think of, that would entice you into those icy waters? … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 22]: Climate change impacts on marine invertebrates with Dr Sue-Ann Watson

Working for the Man in the Afterlife

By David Parkhill Assistant Collection Manager, Queensland Museum South Bank The Queensland Museum holds twenty shabti, or shabti related objects in its Archaeology collection.  Here is a closer look at one of them. The afterlife Ancient Egyptians, along with many other cultures, held a strong belief in the afterlife.  Also in keeping with other civilisations, they would include grave goods such as perfume bottles or … Continue reading Working for the Man in the Afterlife

Donation to digitise the William McLennan Personal Papers

by Queensland Museum Library Staff The William McLennan Personal Papers Collection, part of the State Collection held in the Queensland Museum Library, will soon be as free as a bird. Queensland Museum Network (QMN) has recently received a major donation to enable the conservation and digitisation of the William McLennan Personal Papers collection of ornithological field journals, letters and photographs which detail significant historic field … Continue reading Donation to digitise the William McLennan Personal Papers

Ancient science in contemporary times

Ancient Rome has had a lasting impact on the world, particularly on Western cultures. You may be surprised to hear that many of the objects, concepts, technologies and machines from Ancient Rome are still part of our contemporary lives. Ancient Rome: The Empire that Shaped the World exhibition includes working reconstructions of ancient machines and other technical innovations using materials of the era – wood, … Continue reading Ancient science in contemporary times

New stories from old specimens: understanding the history of one of Australia’s rarest parrots

By Dr Paul Oliver, Senior Curator Vertebrates. In a quiet corner of the Queensland Museum, behind the public galleries and displays, six small dumpy green parrots sit in a special drawer. These are among the last known specimens of Coxen’s Fig Parrots. They were collected well over half a century ago, before populations of this species precipitously declined—possibly to extinction. Years later, they’re now helping … Continue reading New stories from old specimens: understanding the history of one of Australia’s rarest parrots

New species of fish found in Australian waters

Queensland Museum Network Ichthyologist Jeff Johnson and colleagues recently described three new species of fish. The three new species were trawled from Australian waters at depths as deep as 120 metres. Pseudanthias paralourgus is described from just five specimens collected off south-eastern Queensland and was trawled from depths of 110-120 metres. Tosana dampieriensis is described from three specimens from off Western Australia and Tosana longipinnis … Continue reading New species of fish found in Australian waters

Rheobatrachus vitellinus, a species that vanished the year after its discovery

By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Queensland Museum There were only two species of gastric brooding frogs and both were narrowly restricted to mountain ranges near the Queensland coast. The Southern Gastric Brooding Frog, Rheobatrachus silus, lived in the Conondale and Blackall Ranges north of Brisbane and its northern counterpart, R. vitellinus (commonly called the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog) was found in fast … Continue reading Rheobatrachus vitellinus, a species that vanished the year after its discovery

150 years of Daintree

Geraldine Mate – Principal Curator of History, Industry & Technology and Alessandra Schultz – Volunteer, Cultures & Histories Program  When you snap that amazing photo of a mountain or waterfall, do you ever think about the early photographers of Queensland?   This year marks 150 years since the London International Exhibition where Richard Daintree’s images of early colonial Queensland were first displayed. From May to August 1871, a collection of … Continue reading 150 years of Daintree

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 21]: Ants: bioindicators of climate change with Dr Chris Burwell

Because some of them bite, sting or pass on life-threatening diseases, lurk in our kitchens at night, or eat our garden plants, not to mention occasionally decimate our food crops, insects tend to get a bad rap. But that’s not really fair. If they didn’t exist, nor would we. In fact, because of our existence, theirs is under threat. And perhaps this AMAZINGLY diverse class … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 21]: Ants: bioindicators of climate change with Dr Chris Burwell