By Patrick Couper, Senior Curator Vertebrates, Queensland Museum The biological specimens in museum collections need constant monitoring to ensure their long-term preservation. Initially they are treated in a manner that prevents decay. For wet vertebrate collections (whole specimens stored in jars or vats of alcohol), an animal’s organs, muscles and other tissues are fixed, usually with formalin. This results in the formation of covalent bonds … Continue reading Mistakes can happen
Queensland Museum Network’s mammal and bird collections are like a library of animals. Unlike a regular library of books where you go to read to take away information gathered from authors, visiting scientists and artists study the animals, generating information to fill in the gaps in our understanding of the unique fauna of Queensland. Artists use the research collection in a number of ways: to … Continue reading How artists use our research collection
Standing at up to a 1.3 metres tall, with a wingspan of up to 2.4 metres, brolgas have featured on the Queensland coat of arms since 1977 and were formally declared as the state emblem of Queensland in 1986. Despite its emblematic status in Queensland, this beautiful bird can be easy to overlook as it spends much of its time quietly searching for food in … Continue reading Have you seen Bruce the Brolga?
A Queensland Museum specimen of Australia’s most elusive nocturnal bird, the Night Parrot, has played a vital role in a new international study, which has found that this species may not be much better at seeing in the dark than other parrots active during the day. Queensland Museum Mammals and Birds Collection Manager Heather Janetzki said at the time of the study, the museum held … Continue reading Mysterious Night Parrots may not see in the dead of night
By Dr Paul Oliver, Curator of Vertebrates at Queensland Museum Occasionally at night as my family are sitting down to eat our dinner or doing the dishes, we hear a low, repetitive, booming, noise from somewhere outside. This noise is very easy to overhear, and dismiss as part of the background hubbub of suburbia. And the bird which makes this noise is also easy to … Continue reading Birds of the lost arcs
By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum The giant kangaroo tibia (shinbone) found at the megafauna fossil sites of South Walker Creek, travelled safely back to the Queensland Museum’s Geosciences collection. The specimen is treated like evidence for a case (fossil evidence!) and is processed through a series of stages from field collection (Part 1) and preparation, to … Continue reading Discovering the world’s largest kangaroo – Part 2: In the lab
By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum As the weather begins to cool, the ‘dig’ season starts for us (palaeontologists) as we venture off along the coast and into the outback heart of Queensland. Over the last ten years we have been investigating a series of fossil sites at South Walker Creek located near the town of Nebo, … Continue reading Discovering the world’s largest kangaroo- Part 1: In the field
By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum In 2008, an extraordinary discovery was made at South Walker Creek, located near the town of Nebo, west of Mackay in Queensland, Australia. Traditional owners of the area, the Barada Barna people, were conducting a cultural heritage survey for the South Walker Creek Mine when they came across some interesting bones. … Continue reading A Crime scene of the past – investigating tropical ice age megafauna
By Rochelle Lawrence, Palaeontological Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum. Megafauna are giant animals usually weighing over 44 kilograms (kg). Most megafauna are now extinct (no longer exist) and were closely related to living species of animals we see today. You have probably heard of the more commonly known megafauna species, like the saber-toothed cat and woolly mammoth from North America. … Continue reading What are megafauna?
World Wildlife Day, held annually on 3 March, was created to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife. This year’s theme is “Life below water: for people and planet”. Oceans harbour a rich variety of communities and a wealth of strange and beautiful creatures, each with its … Continue reading Sharing nature’s gems for World Wildlife Day
We celebrate the achievements of women, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, who have forged the way for those of us in science today, and to give an opportunity for children: girls and boys, to choose role models in science – Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite, BSc MSc MD PhD This coming 11 February is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and to celebrate we’re … Continue reading Celebrating women in science
While the Discovery Centre is being renovated our most popular displays are still on show. Every day at 11.00am and 2.00pm our amazing Daily Discoveries will pop up anywhere! So keep an eye out for them these school holidays… Get up close and personal with a stick insect! We have Goliath Stick Insects, among the largest insects in Australia, breeding here in the museum. There … Continue reading Daily discoveries are coming to you
Queensland Museum Collection Manager (Mammals and Birds), Heather Janetzki, talks about some of her favourite items within the Queensland DNA campaign that you have the opportunity to look after.
Written by: Maryanne Venables, Strategic Learning The “Zoo Animals” went into the tin with the blue lid, while my “Farm Animals” went in the tin with the green lid. The animal kingdom, as I knew it, lived under my bed in Streets ice-cream tins. All were classified, according to contexts developed from the songs, books and experiences of a four-year old. Fast forward to 2012 and, … Continue reading It’s Taxon Time
Did your mum ever tell you to eat lots of carrots because they would help you to see better in the dark? Whilst carrots and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables will help to prevent certain eye ailments, to see really well at night you actually need special eyes. Like other nocturnal animals, Quentin the Quoll was able to find food and evade prey even … Continue reading But I eat lots of carrots!
2012 brings some new faces to Queensland Museum and Sciencentre (QM&S). At the Southbank campus, Quentin the Quoll is lending a paw to show one of the new teachers in residence a thing or two. My name is Narinda Sandry and I am one of two new seconded teachers at QM&S. Having mainly taught 3-8 year olds, I have worked in State Schools, C&K settings, at Griffith … Continue reading New Quoll on the block!
Recently an adult Humpback Whale beached itself on North Stradbroke Island, just 1 km south of the Main Beach Surf Life Saving Club. The cause of death is unknown though it may have been infection-related due to the snagging and embedding of a crab pot around the tail of the whale. Under the Nature Conservation (Whales & Dolphins) Plan 1997, Queensland Museum is authorised to … Continue reading Stranded Humpback Whale
Dr Jessica Worthington Wilmer is a research scientist in the Biodiversity and Geosciences program at Queensland Museum (QM). She’s also the Manager of QM’s Molecular Identities Laboratory and Frozen Tissue Collection. Jessica gets to work on some really cool things! She’s used genetics to look at the population structure of tiny little aquatic snails living in Artesian springs in Australian deserts; used DNA to determine … Continue reading DNA Detective
Atlas of Living Australia Live At Last! The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) was launched in Brisbane on the 20th May. At a special ceremony held at Queensland Museum (QM), Dr John Hooper (Head of Biodiversity and Geosciences at Queensland Museum) spoke about the collaboration of museums, herbaria, universities and other government collections in producing the ALA. The ALA is an online encyclopaedia of all living … Continue reading A LA LA! – Atlas of Living Australia Live At Last