Marine Life

  • Healthy corals in the intertidal zone at Montelivet Island

    26 Aug 2019

    Central Kimberley reef communities survive global coral bleaching

    Remote reef communities in the central inshore Kimberley survived the 2016 global bleaching event, giving hope to Western Australian marine scientists looking to find ways to combat the effects of climate change.

    A recent publication confirms the breakthrough discovery by a team of Western Australian Museum scientists. The researchers examined the composition and health of marine organisms at 13 coral reef sites in the Bonaparte Archipelago – a largely inaccessible area of the inshore central Kimberley.

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    News
    Hillary Henry

  • World Oceans Day

    6 Jun 2019

    World Oceans Day

    The Western Australian Museum’s Aquatic Zoology department boasts a wide collection of specimens ranging from tiny crustaceans to large shark skeletons. These specimens are either wet specimens preserved in alcohol or dry specimens stored in glass jars.

    Diving head first during fieldwork expeditions, we have a dedicated team of researchers who are responsible for building and contributing to these collections and the stories behind the specimens.

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    Article

  • Barnacle Lepas anserifera

    6 Jun 2019

    Barnacles: The Forgotten Species

    Imagine spending most of your life standing on your head and eating with your feet. Sounds impossible? Well, that’s exactly how barnacles spend most of their lives.

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    Article

  • Micro-molluscs

    6 Jun 2019

    Never Underestimate The Power Of Molluscs

    Ranging from snails to clams to octopus, Molluscs are the second largest group of marine invertebrates (animals without a backbone). Dr Lisa Kirkendale, Curator of Molluscs in the Western Australian Museum describes these invertebrates as 4 groups:

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    Article

  • Goniobranchus leopardus

    6 Jun 2019

    Nudibranchs, The Rock Stars Of Our Oceans

    Brightly coloured and slow-moving, these creatures are pretty easy to identify and hard to forget once you’ve seen them. Nudibranchs are mesmerizing sea slugs that gracefully slither across our oceans.

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    Article

  • Underwater diver Dr Jane Formont

    6 Jun 2019

    Ocean Cleaners Under Threat

    When you think of sponges, the first thing that comes to mind would probably be the cleaning sponge in your kitchen. Believe it or not, those cleaning sponges used to come from the ocean. Divers walked along ocean floors plucking sponges off the sea bottom.

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    Article

  • 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

  • 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

  • Astrea annuligera

    18 Jun 2018

    User-friendly guide to identifying WA’s unique corals released

    Marine researchers and scientists now have a new guide to help them carry out their work to accurately identify and classify Western Australia’s hard corals. Hard corals, or scleractinian corals, are a diverse group of threatened species that are incredibly important to the growth and productivity of coral reef ecosystems in general.

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    News
    Flora Perrella

  • Duckbilled Clingfish specimens

    24 Apr 2017

    New clingfish discovery shows value of museum collections

    A new genus and species of clingfish has been discovered on the shelves of the Western Australian Museum’s Harry Butler Research Centre.

    Western Australian Museum Curator of Fishes Dr Glenn Moore discovered the new clingfish with fellow researcher Dr Kevin Conway from Texas A&M University.

    “We came across two specimens of clingfish that had similar characteristics, yet unmistakably different from the other 160 known clingfishes,” Dr Moore said.

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    News
    Flora Perrella

  • The crucifix crab Charybdis feriatus (Linneaus, 1758)

    13 Apr 2017

    Creature Feature: Holy Crab! The crucifix crab Charybdis feriata (Linneaus, 1758)

    This large and colourful species of swimming crab is wide ranging in the tropical Indo-West Pacific from East Africa the Persian Gulf through to Indonesia and Japan, and throughout most of Australia. The crucifix crab lives in shallow sandy or rocky areas. In parts of its range, such as India, the crucifix crab forms a substantial commercial and recreational fishery but in Australia this species is quite rare and isn’t caught in large numbers by Australian crabbers.

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    Blog entry
    Western Australian Museum

  • Introducing Moridilla fifo

    9 Sep 2016

    Moridilla fifo

    Thanks to all the entrants to the Name this Creature competition. Last month, Dr Nerida Wilson announced the winning name on ABC Radio National’s Off Track program: Moridilla fifo.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • 13 Jul 2016

    A new species of spider crab in northern Australia

    Spider crabs are members of the superfamily Majoidea. Not your average-looking crab, many of them possess long thin legs (hence their name) and weird body shapes. Majoids are also known as decorator crabs because they camouflage themselves by attaching other organisms, such as seaweeds and sponges, to the spines and hairs on their legs and carapace. One of the largest species of spider crabs found in Australia is from the genus Paranaxia.

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    Blog entry
    Andrew Hosie

  • The Coral Compactus

    23 May 2016

    WA Coral Field Guides

    The Coral Compactus: Western Australia Hard Coral Genus Identification Guide Version 2

    Abstract: The intention of this identification guide is to provide coral identification material to support research, monitoring and biodiversity conservation in Western Australia.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • 6 May 2016

    Discover "Beneath the Waves"

    One of the biggest marine biodiversity surveys in the world, led by researchers from the Western Australian Museum, has been turned into an interactive online documentary with multiple layers of learning thanks to production company Periscope Pictures and funding from ScreenWest.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • Image of the skeletal structure of a fish

    30 Jun 2015

    Collecting and identifying fish

    Curators at the Western Australian Museum are regularly involved in scientific projects that aim to increase our understanding of Western Australian biodiversity and biogeography. In this podcast Curator of Fishes Dr Glenn Moore explains the methods used to collect fishes in order to survey as much of the biodiversity as possible, and his approach to identifying species.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • #1 This freshwater crayfish belongs to the species Cherax preissi which is usually dark coloured, ranging from brown-black to blue-black.

    9 Mar 2015

    A behind-the-scenes look at our crustacean collection

    Lobsters, crayfish, rock lobsters, slipper lobsters, blind lobsters… The Crustacean group hosts many species which are very similar in shape. However, they do not all live in the same environments and some of them have very divergent ecologies. This photo gallery shows several species that could be easily mistaken. Would you be able to recognise each crustacean?

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    Photo Galleries
    Jessica Scholle

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