Of course everybody wonders what a crocodile hairball looks like! Or do they?

by Marisa Giorgi, Discovery Centre Information Officer When cabinets of curiosity were fashionable, this strange looking smooth ball would be a worthy addition. In those early 16th century permutations of what would become museums, what could be more appropriate than a crocodile bezoar or hairball nestled among a collection of peculiar oddities on display? Hair, along with hooves, claws, and fingernails for that matter, is … Continue reading Of course everybody wonders what a crocodile hairball looks like! Or do they?

More than just tea towels: the migrants, makers and merchandise of Reef Productions

Queensland Museum Network’s Museum Development Officers provide vital support for regional community collections across Queensland. The Museum Development Officer program is an important partnership between the Queensland Museum and Arts Queensland. The program employs five professionally qualified Museum Development Officers, known as MDOs, who are based in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Ipswich and Toowoomba. For the last 12 months, Cairns MDO Dr Jo Wills has been working … Continue reading More than just tea towels: the migrants, makers and merchandise of Reef Productions

Connections to the land and sea

In 2021, Museum of Tropical Queensland commissioned an artwork from local Townsville Indigenous artist, Jumbo Prior. Jumbo Prior is a Bwgcolman, Birri-Gubba and Mamu man. Jumbo was born on Palm Island and grew up in Cherbourg. A self-taught artist, Jumbo has been painting for around eight years. He recently designed the Toyota Cowboys 2021 NRL Indigenous Jersey, with his work, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander … Continue reading Connections to the land and sea

How artists use our research collection

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

Finding dinosaur bones… from a plane?

by Joanne Wilkinson, Senior Fossil Preparator and Conservator It sounds crazy but in 1998 that’s exactly what Queensland Museum palaeontologist Ralph Molnar did, with the assistance of Queensland Museum technician, Joanne Wilkinson. They were joined by American palaeontologists, Paul Sereno, an experienced dinosaur hunter, and his student, John Marco. Paul Sereno, Joanne Wilkinson, Jon Marco and Ralph Molnar at Plevna Down lagoon, 1998 Well, of … Continue reading Finding dinosaur bones… from a plane?

Meet Australotitan, Australia’s largest dinosaur!

By Rochelle Lawrence, Senior Research Assistant, and Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum  It is time to meet Australotitan cooperensis, a new species of giant sauropod from Eromanga in southwest Queensland. Australotitan, the ‘Southern Titan of the Cooper’, named from where it was found, has been scientifically described by palaeontologists and staff at Queensland Museum and the Eromanga Natural History Museum. The fossilised skeleton … Continue reading Meet Australotitan, Australia’s largest dinosaur!

Chinchilla Sand fossils

For over 150 years fossils have been collected from a variety of locations all over Queensland and are now stored in Queensland Museum Geosciences collections. In the late 1800’s staff were employed specifically to travel around Queensland and collect objects to build the state collections. Two of these employees were Kendall Broadbent and Patrick Wall who worked for the museum between 1887 and 1900. Kendall … Continue reading Chinchilla Sand fossils

The legacy of Eddie Koiki Mabo: Mabo Day

by Imelda Miller, Curator, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Indigenous Studies As we come to the end of National Reconciliation Week 2021, it is an opportunity to reflect on the significance of Mabo Day, and how it demonstrates the important ongoing connection to country for our First Nation’s communities across Queensland. Home means different things to different people. For Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders … Continue reading The legacy of Eddie Koiki Mabo: Mabo Day

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 15]: Insights into exhibition design with Alison Ross

There’s a group of unsung heroes in the museum world who work harder than anyone to bring the knowledge and vision of the curators and scientists to life in a way that excites and inspires you. We’re talking about the designers! Queensland Museum’s Senior Exhibition Designer Alison Ross gives us exclusive insight into her role at the museum, a day in the life of a … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 15]: Insights into exhibition design with Alison Ross

The role of a museum curator

by Patrick Couper, Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Queensland Museum The role of a museum curator is diverse and hugely rewarding with every day offering something new. My primary role is to oversee the museum’s frog and reptile collections, which now number around 86,000 specimens, and I undertake taxonomic research (the branch of science concerned with the classification of organisms – in my case, … Continue reading The role of a museum curator

Sweet new discovery – a new species of chocolate frog

Move over Freddo, there is a new chocolate frog in town… meet Litoria mira, a new frog species that has been recently described by Queensland Museum scientists. Compared to other tree frogs, known for their green skin, Litoria mira is brown and was given the nickname chocolate frog because of its colouring. Lead author, Dr Paul Oliver who is a joint appointment with Queensland Museum … Continue reading Sweet new discovery – a new species of chocolate frog

Mystery Object: Lifesavers of the Coral Sea

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, shares the mystery object of the month. The mystery These objects are found in large numbers on some beaches in tropical Queensland. These particular examples are from Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday Coast. Close examination shows that the objects are … Continue reading Mystery Object: Lifesavers of the Coral Sea

National Reconciliation Week 2021: More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

By Julia Waters, Records Manager, Queensland Museum Each year National Reconciliation Week reminds many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families of the changes that occurred after the 1967 Referendum on 27 May. My family lived at Inala and we were like so many other families in Housing Commission communities across Queensland. My parents were labourers. My father, Len Waters, who was a recognised World War … Continue reading National Reconciliation Week 2021: More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

Caravanning in Queensland

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum. A caravan in Queensland Museum’s collection (H46579) was made by Duncan (Len) Macpherson around 1945. Although simple in appearance, the caravan is evidence that Len was a bit of a trendsetter. His wooden caravan is a tangible example of social changes that were about to sweep the nation. Caravans were not completely unknown in the late 1930s, but were … Continue reading Caravanning in Queensland

Research and programs to support Little Learners across the Queensland Museum Network

by Shalini Gautam (PhD candidate, School of Psychology, University of Queensland) & Amy Boulding, Head of Lifelong Learning. Young children (and their carers) have lots of fun participating in QMN’s Little Learner programs, but what else is happening? PhD candidate in child cognitive development Shalini Gautam conducted research to find out. Little Learner Programs, for children aged 6 and under, are offered at each campus … Continue reading Research and programs to support Little Learners across the Queensland Museum Network

International Day for Biological Diversity

by Bronwyn Mitchell, Editor, Queensland Museum This year on the International Day for Biological Diversity, discover the Eungella rainforests, a biodiversity hotspot and one of Queensland’s most stunning natural environments. Even with all the technology available in our modern world, humanity will always depend on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our continued existence, particularly for food, water, fuel, energy, shelter, medicines and clothing. Biological diversity … Continue reading International Day for Biological Diversity

Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 14]: What it’s like to be a maritime archaeologist with Dr Maddy McAllister

How did such a large ship and experienced crew come to be wrecked? What is the full story of HMS Pandora that now lies at the bottom of the ocean? To celebrate National Archaeology Week, we’re chatting to Queensland Museum Network’s only underwater archaeologist Dr Maddy McAllister. You might know her from Instagram as the@ShipwreckMermaid.    In this episode we reveal the difference between underwater and … Continue reading Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 14]: What it’s like to be a maritime archaeologist with Dr Maddy McAllister

5 minutes with David Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager of Archaeology

What is your favourite object in the collection and why? One that comes to mind is the core formed Greek alabastron, a small glass vessel, used for holding perfumed oils from the antiquities collection. I am drawn to this item because of the method of manufacture, and its resultant inherent beauty. Made sometime during the 4th -3rd cent BCE, it was formed by winding or … Continue reading 5 minutes with David Parkhill, Assistant Collection Manager of Archaeology

Objects of War: The First World War Antiquities project

Written by Mr James Donaldson (Museum Manager and Curator, R.D. Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland) and Dr Brit Asmussen (Senior Curator, Cultures and Histories, Queensland Museum). Queensland Museum and The RD Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland, are collaborating on a research partnership to learn more about the antiquities collecting activities of Australian WW1 personnel. Learn more about how this research project is … Continue reading Objects of War: The First World War Antiquities project

Tower Mill: An Archaeological Investigation of Queensland’s Oldest Surviving Building

By Taylor O’Neill – Museum Studies student at the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology. Known as the Old Windmill or The Observatory, Tower Mill is an instantly recognisable part of Brisbane City and Queensland’s oldest building. What can archaeology tell us about this place? Located on Brisbane City’s Wickham Terrace, you’ve probably glanced at Tower Mill once or twice … Continue reading Tower Mill: An Archaeological Investigation of Queensland’s Oldest Surviving Building