Queensland Museum Collection Managers Dr Merrick Ekins (Sessile Marine Invertebrates) and Darryl Potter (Mollusca) ventured up to Caloundra recently in search of a blue soft coral and some molluscs. As part of an International Collaboration as part of the Cnidarian Tree of Life, DNA sequencing has revealed differences between Australian species of soft corals and those originally described from other parts of the world. This … Continue reading Field adventures with Merrick and Darryl
Sue-Ann is Senior Curator, Marine Invertebrates at the Queensland Museum Network, based at the Museum of Tropical Queensland campus in Townsville. Her position is co-appointed with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. What is your favourite specimen in the collection and why? At Museum of Tropical Queensland we have a very large giant clam shell. This … Continue reading 5 minutes with Sue-Ann Watson, Senior Curator Marine Invertebrates
From the depths of the ocean to Queensland Museum, discover the secrets of the monsters from the deep with Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators. Presenting the profiles of the three giant marine reptiles that ruled the sea. Ichthyosaur Ichthyosaur (pronounced ick-thee-o-sore) remains the original marine reptile or “sea lizard” as they’re often referred to, marking their reign of the ocean for nearly 150 million years. … Continue reading The reign of the reptiles: Meet the monsters
One of Queensland Museum’s resident tenants took the stress of moving to a whole new level, as the giant squid found his tentacles being transported to a new abode. Past Life Before calling Queensland Museum home, the supersized ocean dweller was discovered lurking in the deep ocean off New Zealand, measuring a staggering 6.75 metres. The life of the preserved Architeuthis dux has spanned vast … Continue reading Relocating a Supersized Squid, Tentacles And All!
Australia is one of only 17 countries in the world that is megadiverse that is, together these countries contain 70% of the world’s biodiversity. Queensland is the most biodiverse state of Australia, with 70% of Australia’s mammal species, 80% of Australia’s birds, and 50% of Australia’s reptiles and frogs. Queensland Museum has been a vital authority on the investigation, documentation and conservation of Queensland’s faunal … Continue reading Can you name Queensland’s five major types of habitats?
This is the third installment of a blog monitoring a bleaching event currently occurring in reefs off Magnetic Island, 14kms from the coast of Townsville in North Queensland. Since February 2020, a team of local marine biologists have been monitoring 14 giant clams along the snorkel trails of Geoffrey Bay which were showing signs of severe bleaching. The team returned again in March and observed … Continue reading A step in the right direction for Magnetic Island’s giant clams
This is the 2nd installment of a blog monitoring a bleaching event currently occurring in reefs off Magnetic Island, 14kms from the coast of Townsville in North Queensland Unfortunately by 7 March, approximately two weeks since the last inspection, the bleaching of the giant clams along the snorkel trails of Magnetic Island had worsened. In just a few short weeks, the number of giant clams … Continue reading Update on Magnetic Island’s Giant Clams
Giant clams are large and beautiful reef animals, the largest bivalve molluscs in the world, commonly reaching more than a metre in length. Like reef-building corals, they have symbiotic algae in their tissues, and under extreme heat stress can bleach like corals do. This results in the symbiotic algae being ejected from their tissues and they turn white. Currently, a giant clam bleaching event is … Continue reading North Queensland giant clams under stress
World Turtle Day is #Shellebrated globally on 23 May, to celebrate these incredible creatures, increase knowledge, raise awareness of the impact of plastic pollution, and to highlight the importance of protecting their disappearing habitats. Did you know six of the world’s seven marine turtle species are known from Queensland? You can read more on sea turtles here. The Impact of Plastic Pollution Every bit of … Continue reading World Turtle Day
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
Kronosaurus queenslandicus was the largest predatory reptile to swim the seas of western Queensland 105 million years ago. This icon of the paleontological world is thought to have grown up to 11 metres in length, with around two metres of that dedicated to its unusually large skull, containing a mammoth set of jaws and dozens of enormous teeth. Recently, an opportunity arose for the Queensland … Continue reading Reconstructing the Kronosaurus
Dr John Hooper has been an integral part of the Queensland Museum Network and has made a significant contribution during his 27 years here, 14 of which he has been Head of the Biodiversity and Geosciences program. Having retired in June 2018, John leaves a lasting legacy not only to the Queensland Museum Network but to the broader scientific community.
Written by Senior Curator, Social History, Mark Clayton. At 4 a.m. on the morning of February 5, 1916, Mr W.J. McLaughlan who was on sentry duty on the beach at North Fremantle, noticed in the dim light an object which he at first took to be a snake, but which on closer examination proved to be a remarkably elongated fish of a bright silvery colour. … Continue reading Other Anzacs
Written by: Christine Robertson, Corporate Communication Officer
If you have ever been snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef, you would be astounded by the wondrous beauty of the intricate eco-system that happens under the sea.
Written by: Dr John Hooper, Head, Natural Environments
New species of life forms, ranging from bacteria even up to mammals, continue to be discovered across the world on a daily basis. This includes species that make up our Great Barrier Reef (GBR), one of seven natural wonders of the world. So while we may have a reasonably good idea about the numbers and different types (species) of corals and fishes that build and live in the GBR ecosystem, we know very little about the many, probably hundreds of thousands of other species living amongst them – even some very large species, but most very small.
Written by: Marcel Bruyn, Strategic Learning Sustainability is a cross-curriculum priority of the Australian Curriculum. Sustainability addresses the ongoing capacity of Earth to maintain all life. The AC website states that: “Education for sustainability develops the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living.” In Science: “… students appreciate that science provides the … Continue reading New Resources to Support Sustainability Education
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 Merrick Ekins is the Collection Manager of Sessile Marine Invertebrates at Queensland Museum. He collects Sponges, Cnidarians (Hard, Soft and Black Corals, Anemones, Jellyfish, Zooanthids), Ascidians (sea squirts), Bryozoans, Brachiopods and Hemichordates. Sessile animals are ones that are fixed in place, at least in the adult stage, and don’t tend to move around from place to place. Merrick is responsible for collection, storage, transport and maintenance of over … Continue reading Exploring the Deep
Dr Claudia Arango, a research fellow at Queensland Museum, is one of the few world specialists on pycnogonids (or sea spiders). She has been working on Australian fauna since 1998. Claudia studies these spiders to work out how they evolved; their ecology; relationships among the families and species; and to help understand their position in the arthropod Tree of Life. Claudia is currently leading a three-year … Continue reading Sea Spiders – from the South Pole to the Tropics