New Zealand

Now extinct, thylacines are carnivorous marsupials that once roamed freely around Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.

Extinct Tasmanian Tigers May Have Survived Longer Than Previously Thought

Though the last documented thylacine died in 1936, a new study based on alleged sightings suggests the species lived for decades more

An artist's depiction of Macronectes tinae, a newly identified extinct species of giant petrel that lived in New Zealand.

The Wonderful World of Birds

Amateur Fossil Hunter Discovers New Species of Giant Petrel in New Zealand

The now-extinct birds, which lived roughly three million years ago, likely used their hooked bills to feast on seal carcasses

Pottery from the wreck of the Josephine Willis, which has been granted historical protection by the British government

Shipwreck Carrying Rare 19th-Century Ceramics Gets Government Protection

The British emigrant vessel sank with a cargo of Victorian pottery on board

An artist's concept of Kumimanu fordycei and Petradyptes stonehousei

The Wonderful World of Birds

Fossils of a 340-Pound Giant Penguin Found in New Zealand

Paleontologists unearthed the bones of two new penguin species that lived 50 million years ago

Barnaby Domigan with the giant earthworm

Nine-Year-Old Finds a Three-Foot-Long Earthworm in His Backyard

The New Zealand boy named the creature “Dead Fred”

A Haast's eagle hunts moa.

How a Giant Eagle Once Came to Dominate New Zealand

Before the formidable bird went extinct, scientists say it likely hunted the flightless moa

Kororā, the world’s smallest penguin, are native to New Zealand.

Hundreds of Little Blue Penguins Are Turning Up Dead in New Zealand

Rising ocean temperatures are likely causing the flightless birds to starve to death

Draughtsboard sharks apparently snooze with their eyes open or closed depending on the amount of surrounding light.

Sharks Apparently Do Sleep, Even With Their Eyes Wide Open

Scientists observed sleep in draughtsboard sharks by analyzing the animals' metabolism and posture

The New Zealand sea lion is listed as endangered, and conservationists are working to ensure their population continues to grow. 

After Being Hunted to Near-Extinction, New Zealand Sea Lions Are Reclaiming the Mainland

These blubbery critters have made grand reappearances on golf courses, swimming pools and hiking trails, startling some New Zealanders

The 17-pound spud could earn the top spot in the Guiness Book of World Records.

At 17 Pounds, 'Doug' the Ugly Potato Could Be the World’s Biggest Spud

Colin and Donna Craig-Brown of New Zealand named the giant tuber and have been taking it for walks

New Zealand's long-tailed bats are about the size of a human thumb and weigh less than a tablespoon of sugar.

New Zealand's Bird of the Year Is... a Bat

The winged mammal is critically endangered and won the award to raise awareness about their existence and importance to the island ecosystem

More than half of koalas admitted to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital are sick with chlamydia. 

Australia Begins Vaccinating Hundreds of Koalas Against Chlamydia in New Trial

The infection affects at least half of koalas living in southeast Queensland and New South Wales

Māori explorers may have reached Antarctica in the seventh century A.D.

Māori May Have Reached Antarctica 1,000 Years Before Europeans

New research draws on oral histories and other traditional records often ignored by Western scholars

The Tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus, is a unique reptile found in New Zealand. New research suggests the species has two mitochondrial genomes.

Smithsonian Voices

Scientists Discover This Peculiar New Zealand Reptile Has Two 'Powerhouse' Genomes

The research could help zoologists understand what makes tuataras so genetically different from all other reptiles.

Female springbok mantises will fight against males who want to mate

Male Mantises Wrestle to Escape Cannibalistic Females

Mating is not so romantic for these insects

Bar-tailed godwits spend their summers in the Arctic, where they breed and build up their energy reserves before flying south for the winter.

Bird Flies 7,500 Miles, a New Record for Longest Nonstop Bird Migration

After summering in the Arctic, a bar-tailed godwit soared across the Pacific Ocean like a "jet fighter" to winter in New Zealand

The ʻahu ʻula and mahiole of Kalaniʻōpuʻu on display in the Bishop Museum

Hawaiian Chief's Cloak and Helmet Repatriated After 241 Years

A New Zealand museum initially returned the artifacts, given to Captain James Cook in 1779, on a long-term loan in 2016

This 1846 daguerreotype is likely the oldest surviving photograph of a Māori person.

Newly Discovered Portrait May Be Oldest Known Image of Māori Person

The photo depicts Hemi Pomara, who was kidnapped and "exhibited" by British colonialists in London during the 1840s

Shot in 1935, this is a still from a newly rediscovered bit of footage depicting Benjamin, the last captive thylacine on Earth. He was on display at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania.

'New' Footage of Benjamin, the Last Tasmanian Tiger Ever Seen Alive

The short video hasn’t been seen in more than 80 years and shows the animal pacing its enclosure in Hobart, Tasmania

To escape loud noises, sperm whales have been known to swim to the surface too quickly and give themselves the bends.

Whales Struggled to Find Food After New Zealand’s 2016 Earthquake

Sperm whales are at the top of the food chain, and the effects of undersea landslides rippled up

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