Wellington to Puhaka Mount Bruce

Yesterday (Friday), I went to the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre in the company of Phil Garnock-Jones, an emeritus professor of botany at the University of Wellington. The Centre is about two hours north of Wellington, and on the way we passed the “Beehive“, the executive wing of the New Zealand Parliament. Built between 1969 and 1979, it’s … Continue reading Wellington to Puhaka Mount Bruce

Another biologist disputes the nature of the tiny “bird/dino” fossil

On March 12, I wrote about the new Nature paper describing the fossil of Oculudentavis khaungraa, identified as a tiny (2-gram) dinosaur/bird found in Burmese amber. But the very next day I had to hedge the results after reading Darren Naish’s Tetrapod Zoology post, not only on humanitarian grounds (the amber used in the study … Continue reading Another biologist disputes the nature of the tiny “bird/dino” fossil

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some New Zealand pictures from reader Michael Hannah, whose notes are indented. Hannah is an associate professor of paleontology and evolution at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. Numbers 1 – 6 were all taken at Pukaha Mt Bruce sanctuary–  I know you visited there on your … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photos

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Mike Hannah send some photos from the Land of Kiwis and notes (indented): I understand that you are visiting New Zealand next year – so I have attached three photos of endemic species to whet your appetite. All the pictures were taken in an urban sanctuary called Zealandia situated in the suburbs of Wellington. … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photographs

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Rodger Atkin sent a lovely dragonfly photo from Thailand, which may be a mimic. Though I know of no mimetic dragonflies, I don’t know much about Odonata, and Rodger  asks readers if they know anything about this one. His notes: This was taken in my yard in Thailand. I have never seen markings like those … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photos

The tuatara’s third eye

by Greg Mayer The tuatara has long been of interest to us here at WEIT, where we refer to it as Earth’s Only Extant Non-Squamate Lepidosaur*. We’ve been especially interested in the tuatara’s third, or parietal, eye, and our most recent post on it, which included a very nice color image of a longitudinal section … Continue reading The tuatara’s third eye

Rare footage: a baby tuatara enters the world

If you’re a biologist–at least one with an interest in natural history–you’ll know that the lizard-like tuatara of New Zealand (Sphenodon punctatus) is a rare and evolutionarily unusual beast. Like many New Zealand endemics, it’s highly threatened. The tuatara is the only species in the order Rhynchocephalia; to show you how unusual it is to have an … Continue reading Rare footage: a baby tuatara enters the world

Wildlife and other photos from New Zealand: Tiritiri Matangi Reserve

A few days before I regretfully left New Zealand, reader Gayle Ferguson took me on an all-day expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island, a small (2.2 km² [1 square mile] reserve located on an island only about 3 km from the shore. Here’s where it is. It is a reserve that was denuded by farming and … Continue reading Wildlife and other photos from New Zealand: Tiritiri Matangi Reserve