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Explore topics

Tonny Brinkman: Sand Collector

Sand collector Tonny Brinkman has generously donated 3500 sands to Auckland Museum - and her decades of collecting show that you can explore the world without going far from home.

In praise of humble bones

The Land Vertebrate collection at Auckland Museum has more than three thousand bones from mammals, reptiles and birds. But why are bones important?

The eruption of Mt Tarawera

The Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886 is probably the most devastating eruption to occur in Aotearoa New Zealand since Polynesian settlers arrived in the 14th century.

White kiwi, French poodles, and the problem of a world in pieces

It's night on Te Hauturu o Toi, Little Barrier Island, and a half moon glows softly behind the clouds. A movement off to our left alerts us and we dive into the brush and extract our prize - a baby North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli).

Toxic sea slug

The grey side-gilled sea slug (Pleurobranchaea maculata) is commonly found around New Zealand and south eastern Australia. It was recently discovered to be deadly to humans and other animals such as dogs.

Illustrated leaves

Herbals are books containing names, descriptions and illustrations of plants; forilegia are books of floral illustrations. Auckland Museum's collection includes herbal and florilegium volumes from as early as the 16th century.

The mystery of the dragon-tree

The recent popularity of dragon-trees has meant the tree is a common sight in Auckland suburban gardens. Strangely, the trees planted in the last 20 years look very different to those planted in the city a century earlier.

How to stuff an elephant

It is almost 80 years since Rajah the elephant debuted in the Hall of General Natural History at Auckland Museum.

​Thomas Cheeseman's travelling writing case​

​This travelling writing case belonged to Thomas Frederick Cheeseman. A keen botanist, he was the first director of the Auckland Institute and Museum and travelled throughout New Zealand, collecting and recording plants, and observing the geographical terrain. ​​