Animals

  • 12 Apr 2019

    New name for a tropical whip sponge

    By Jane Fromont

    The enigmatic body shape of a tropical whip sponge collected in Western Australia has resulted in the creation of a new family and genus of sponges.

    The species was first described from Indonesia as Dendrilla lacunosa by Hentschel in 1912 and 100 years later found in abundance in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia during fieldwork funded by the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI). This is where the puzzle begins.

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    Blog entry
    Andrew Hosie

  • 13 Mar 2019

    WA and UK researchers discover new species of extinct Australian mammal

    A team of researchers led by the Western Australian Museum and the Natural History Museum in London has discovered a new species of very small, incredibly fast extinct Australian Pig-footed Bandicoot.

    Dr Kenny Travouillon, Curator of Mammalogy at the WA Museum, said the discovery of Chaeropus yirratji is a breakthrough for science as little was known about the mammal previously.

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    News
    Hillary Henry

  • A micro-CT scan of a sponge barnacle inside its host sponge. most of the sponge tissue has been removed from the image revealing the barnacle within.

    10 Aug 2018

    Australia's Diverse Sponge Barnacles

    When people think of barnacles they normally picture a small, conical shell clinging to rocks at low tide or to ships’ hulls and normally thought of as being a nuisance. What most people don’t realise is that barnacles are crustaceans (so closely related to crabs and shrimps) that have specialised and adapted to almost every marine environment, from the depths of over 5000m to being exposed at low tide for hours a day.

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    Blog entry
    Andrew Hosie

  • Gehyra pseudopunctata

    9 May 2018

    Five new species of lizards discovered in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Northern Territory

    Five new species of lizards from the Kimberley, Pilbara, and Northern Territory were recently described by a scientific team led by Western Australian Museum curator of herpetology Dr Paul Doughty.

    Dr Doughty said the descriptions include three new gecko species of the genus Gehyra, from the north-west Kimberley region: the Southern Spotted Gecko (Gehyra pseudopunctata); the Kimberley Granular-toed Gecko (Gehyra granulum); the Northern Kimberley Gecko (Gehyra pluraporosa).

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    News
    Flora Perrella

  • A bilby sniffing around a tree

    15 Apr 2017

    The Bilby

    Macrotis lagotis

    This grey to cream furred marsupial has a long, pointed nose, large ears, and a half black, half white tail. A male of the species can weigh up to 2.5 kilograms.

    As a nocturnal animal, the Bilby spends the night foraging for insects, seeds, bulbs, fruit, and fungi.

    During the day, a bilby will retreat to a burrow that may be up to three metres long, often constructed beneath a shrub, termite mound or spinifex tussock.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • WA Museum Taxonomists in 2017

    17 Mar 2017

    Taxonomist Appreciation Day 19 March 2017

    The 19th March is Taxonomist Appreciation Day, a day when we say “thank you” for all of the hard work done by taxonomists around the world. Taxonomy is a branch of biology concerned with the classification, description and naming of organisms. With estimates of total species numbers on earth ranging from 8 million to 1 trillion (including mega-diverse groups such as algae and archaea), and only 1.6 million species currently named, there is a lot left to do!

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    Blog entry
    Lintette Umbrello

  • large black cockatoo on a pale background

    1 Feb 2017

    Untimely cockatoo death reveals important information on local movements

    This female Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) was banded as a chick in Bungendore Park (Bedfordale) on 4 July 2009 (weight 565 gm at 60 days old) – the band is obvious on her right leg. She was recently found in Carlisle, probably the result of a vehicle strike, and taken to the Darling Range Wildlife Shelter, but died overnight and was handed to Department of Parks and Wildlife who then passed her on to the Western Australian Museum.

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    Blog entry
    Lintette Umbrello

  • C. pilbarensis

    27 Sep 2016

    Three New Gecko Species

    Recent WA Museum-led research has described three new gecko species – the smallest geckos to be found in Australia.

    Geckos are a type of lizard found in warm climates all over the world. There are about 1500 species of gecko worldwide, most of which are nocturnal and lack eyelids.

    The Cape Range Clawless Gecko (Crenadactylus tuberculatus) is Australia’s smallest gecko, reaching just over 4cm in length, including the tail.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • "Bothriembryon (B.) sophiarum sp. n. A–D holotype WAM S66478 (H = 14.4 mm) E Protoconch and early teleoconch sculpture; scale line 0.5 mm."

    20 Sep 2016

    No Dissection Necessary

    Earlier this year, Western Australian Museum Technical Officer (Molluscs) Corey Whisson and fellow scientist Dr Abraham Breure published a research article called "A new species of Bothriuembryon (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bothriembryontidae) from south-eastern Western Australia" in ZooKeys.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • 14 Jun 2016

    Western Swamp Tortoise

    DPAW’s Threatened Fauna: An Overview – Western Swamp Tortoise

    Pseudemydura umbrina

    Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) keeps an extensive list of threatened fauna in line with the Wildlife Conservation Act. On this list, 26 reptiles are listed as “fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct.” This includes the Western Swamp Tortoise, otherwise known as the Short-necked Tortoise, or Western Swamp Turtle.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • The distinctive wedge-shaped tail is evident from a great distance.

    12 May 2016

    Wedge-tailed Eagle

    Scientific Name

    Aquila audax

    Other names

    Eaglehawk. Waalitj (Noongar name).

    Description

    A huge, very dark eagle with long wedge-shaped tail, long fingered wings and completely feathered legs. Australia’s largest bird of prey and one of the largest eagles in the world.

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    Photo Galleries
    Western Australian Museum

  • A photoshoot for the taxidermy mammal collection for Western Australian Museum records. Is this tiger hungry, or just camera shy?

    29 Feb 2016

    Behind the Scenes: Mammal Gallery Decant

    The Mammal Gallery decant from the Western Australian Museum - Perth to the Collections and Research Centre (CRC) at Welshpool has been a huge undertaking for all involved. 

    It allowed Museum staff the opportunity to update records and complete conservation work on the precious specimens. 

    Soula Veyradier, Manager, Western Australian Museum - Perth, said that the decant was a unique opportunity to work with the animals outside their display cases.  

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    Photo Galleries
    Western Australian Museum

  • A taxidermied specimen (American Bison) on display behind a glass case in the Mammal Gallery

    25 Jan 2016

    The Mammal Gallery

    The Western Australian Museum are getting ready to build a New Museum for Western Australia, and an initial step in this process is to decant the thousands of specimens and objects from the WA Museum – Perth into safe storage at the Collections and Research Centre (CRC) in Welshpool. This article explores the history and decant of the Mammal Gallery, with insights from Western Australian Museum Mammology Dr Kenny Travouillon.

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    Photo Galleries
    Western Australian Museum

  • Chuditch (Western Native Cat)

    18 Jan 2016

    Chuditch

    DPAW’s Threatened Fauna: An Overview – Chuditch / Western Quoll

    Dasyurus geoffroii

    Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) keeps an extensive list of threatened fauna in line with the Wildlife Conservation Act. On this list, 44 mammals are listed as “fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct.” This includes the Chuditch (Noongar name), otherwise known as the Western Quoll, or Western Native Cat.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • 11 Jan 2016

    The Bird Gallery

    The Western Australian Museum are getting ready to build a New Museum for Western Australia, and an initial step in this process is to decant the thousands of specimens and objects from the WA Museum – Perth into safe storage at the Collections and Research Centre (CRC) in Welshpool. This article explores the history of the Bird Gallery, with insights from Western Australian Museum Ornithology Curator, Ron Johnstone.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • Colourful bird in flight

    18 Sep 2015

    Last Migration: The Story of the Red Knot

    On 4 March 2015, Grant Lodge found a recently dead shorebird on a beach near Broome. The bird had a number of coloured leg flags and bands, which identified the bird as being part of a scientific data collection system.  Mr Lodge preserved the specimen and contacted Ron Johnstone, the Curator of Ornithology at the Western Australia Museum. On its arrival at the museum, the specimen was prepared into a research study skin (registered number A39016) and was identified as a Red Knot (Calidris canutus piersmai).

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    Article
    Tara Sidebottom

  • Plate 1

    11 May 2015

    Explore our Egg Collection

    The Western Australian Museum is home to a large egg collection that has been put together over many years by the Museum's Curator of Ornithology, Ron Johnstone, and others. 

    The egg plates in this gallery are from the Museum's collection and were photographed by Douglas Elford for the Handbook of Western Australian Birds - Volume I

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    Photo Galleries
    Western Australian Museum

  • Dale’s Gorge, Karijini NP

    5 May 2015

    Wildlife of the Pilbara

    The Western Australian Museum Terrestrial Zoology team recently ran a field trip to Karijini and Millstream-Chichester national parks in the Pilbara, to collect tissue samples for the Molecular Systematics Unit’s Conservation Genetics of the Pilbara Fauna Project, funded by the Net Conservation Benefits Fund. Survey teams used a variety of techniques to sample for reptiles, mammals, frogs, trapdoor spiders, pseudoscorpions, land snails, insects and other invertebrate groups. Key habitats examined were gorges, mulga woodland and spinifex hummock-grassland on heavy clay soils.

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    Photo Galleries
    Lintette Umbrello

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