What has four legs, two wheels and flies?

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum. Transport museums are not usually associated with presenting medical advances, but few objects in any museum had a bigger impact on public health than our dunny cart. It is difficult for us in the twenty-first century to imagine a time when people were left to their own devices regarding human waste or ‘night soil’, as it was genteelly called … Continue reading What has four legs, two wheels and flies?

Mystery Object: A shell of its former self

Identifying obscure and bizarre objects is all in a day’s work for staff in the Queensland Museum Discovery Centre! Today Steve Wilson, Information Officer, joins us to share the mystery object of the month for December. This specimen was found in a shallow pool in the Einasleigh Uplands region of north Queensland. The general shape of a praying mantis is clearly visible, as though the unfortunate insect … Continue reading Mystery Object: A shell of its former self

Collecting Ancient Egyptian antiquities during the First World War

By Mr James Donaldson (Manager/Curator, R D Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland) and Dr Brit Asmussen (Senior Curator, Archaeology, Cultures and Histories, Queensland Museum) The First World War Antiquities Project (Queensland) This blog is one in a series developed from research conducted during “The First World War Antiquities Project (Queensland)”, a collaborative project between the R.D. Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland, … Continue reading Collecting Ancient Egyptian antiquities during the First World War

Giant Mantid crawls into the Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre welcomes our newest insect species this week – a Giant Mantid, Hierodula majuscula. Giant Mantids are inhabitants of rainforests in far north Queensland. This individual on display is a female, most easily distinguished from males by her larger size. Mantids are well camouflaged among vegetation, allowing them to hide from both predators and their own prey. They commonly prey on other insects … Continue reading Giant Mantid crawls into the Discovery Centre

Convalescing and collecting: Antiquities in the First World War

By Mr James Donaldson (Manager/Curator, R.D. Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland) and Dr Brit Asmussen (Senior Curator, Archaeology, Cultures and Histories, Queensland Museum.) In this blog, we remember the First World War service of Samuel Emmett, and discover why he was drawn to collect Roman antiquities in England while convalescing there after the war.  This blog is one in a series developed from … Continue reading Convalescing and collecting: Antiquities in the First World War

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