30 Aug 2019
The Purple-Loving Barnacle
26 Aug 2019
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.
6 Jun 2019
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
12 Apr 2019
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.
10 Aug 2018
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.
3 Aug 2018
A sea slug that inhabits the waters off the north-west coast of Western Australia has officially been named after the State’s fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers.
The sea slug—Moridilla fifo—was officially named in a paper published in the latest issue of the Records of the Western Australian Museum written by researchers Dr Leila Carmona and Dr Nerida Wilson.
18 Jun 2018
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.
27 Feb 2018
Want to know more? Be sure to visit our Museum in a Container at the Mandurah Crab Fest this March!
Western Australian Museum
24 Apr 2017
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.
13 Apr 2017
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.
Western Australian Museum
9 Sep 2016
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.
13 Jul 2016
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.
23 May 2016
The intention of this identification guide is to provide coral identification material to support research, monitoring and biodiversity conservation in Western Australia.
6 May 2016
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.
30 Jun 2015
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.
9 Mar 2015
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?