Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Stunning deep-sea wilderness comes to Te Papa

NIWA Media Release 30 November 2012


Stunning deep-sea wilderness comes to Te Papa

Deep NZ: Our underwater wilderness – a new exhibition of stunning deep-sea animal specimens and imagery – opens at Te Papa today.

The specimens on display have never been seen by the public before, and many are new to science. The exhibition showcases the diversity of habitats and the spectacular creatures such as crabs, tubeworms, precious corals, fish, molluscs and sponges that live in New Zealand’s deep ocean.

The exhibition was developed by Te Papa in association with NIWA and GNS Science.

New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers more than four million square kilometres, yet less than one per cent has been closely studied. Little is known about what lives in our waters and much remains to be discovered.

“Our New Zealand deep-sea fauna is special,” says NIWA Collection Manager Dr Kareen Schnabel. “This exhibition showcases our deep-sea research in New Zealand. If we don’t know what is down there, then we can’t take care of it.”

“The exhibition highlights exciting aspects of our science, from a range of deep-sea habitats: hot vents and cold seeps, seamounts and rocky slopes, the life found on the vast muddy plains and the creatures that swim in the cold dark waters,” says NIWA scientist Dianne Tracey.

On display are about 60 specimens and two videos that take visitors on a journey from 200 to 10,000 metres under the sea. Journey across an underwater landscape shows the diverse communities of New Zealand’s seamounts. This deep, dark world is teeming with life and animals that have adapted to the challenging conditions in amazing ways. Images of these deep-sea animals have been captured on video by NIWA's Deep Towed Imaging System (DTIS). Living on the ocean floor shows deep-sea animals filmed by Te Papa researchers using a baited lander. This includes rare footage of a shark attacking a hagfish, and the hagfish defending itself by choking the shark with slime.

Te Papa Concept Developer Kristelle Plimmer says, “The exhibition is a snapshot; a tiny glimpse of the life down there. It is really thrilling to see these creatures in the shell or in the flesh. What is really special is the display of specimens in jars. This allows the public to see these fascinating creatures as they are kept in our collections.

One of the deep-sea animals that has been photographed is a ’deep-sea warty octopus‘ (Graneledone taniwha taniwha) collected from around 900 metres deep on the Chatham Rise. This is one of two octopus species endemic to New Zealand that are found between 450 and 1500 metres deep.

Also being exhibited for a month is the University of Aberdeen’s Hadal Lander. This is sent down to the deepest parts of the ocean. Bait is attached to the lander to attract animals that are filmed by a high-resolution video camera. The Hadal Lander will then be deployed in the Kermadec Trench, one of the deepest parts of our EEZ.

A good proportion of New Zealand’s deep-sea biodiversity is represented by specimens held in NIWA’s Invertebrate Collection and in Te Papa’s Natural Environment collections.

“We are the custodians of an important research resource,” says Dr Schnabel. Most of the specimens on show in the Deep NZ exhibition are drawn from these collections. Samples of rocks and valuable minerals from the sea floor have been lent by GNS Science.

NIWA’s Invertebrate Collection holds 50 years’ worth of biological collections from around the South Pacific and New Zealand. Te Papa’s collection was begun by Sir James Hector in 1865, when he was asked by the Government to establish a colonial museum.

The Deep NZ exhibition has been developed to accompany the 13th International Deep-Sea Biology Symposium (DSBS) being hosted by NIWA at Te Papa, Wellington, from 3–7 December. This is the first time in its over 30-year history that this symposium has been held in the Southern Hemisphere, and reflects the growing contribution of New Zealand to deep-sea research.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan will open the symposium.

NIWA Principal Scientist, Dr Ashley Rowden, convenor of the symposium, says, “The symposium will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work that New Zealand researchers are doing to find out more about life in the deep sea, and how seabed resources may be exploited in the future while protecting this biodiversity.

“The exhibition, which will run for one year, represents an example of the collaboration that takes place between NIWA, Te Papa and GNS Science to undertake research into New Zealand’s deep sea.”

For more information about the symposium click here
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news