New Zealand

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

A print from an oil painting attributed to J Clevely, showing Captain James Cook arriving at Queen Charlotte's Sound in New Zealand.

British Government ‘Expresses Regret’ for Māori Killed After James Cook’s Arrival in New Zealand

The statement comes as New Zealand prepares to grapple with the 250th anniversary of the first meetings between Captain Cook and the Māori

Reconstruction of the giant parrot Heracles, with small New Zealand wrens for scale.

This Chonky Ancient Bird Is the World’s Largest Known Parrot

Discovered in New Zealand, the bird has been dubbed ‘Squawkzilla’

Up to 145 whales were discovered on the shores of Stewart Island last Saturday evening.

200 Whales Have Died in Three Mass Strandings on New Zealand’s Shores

Experts do not fully understand why whales beach themselves, but the recent incidents do not appear to be linked

The moa, a species of giant flightless birds, went extinct soon after humans arrived in New Zealand during the 13th century

Oral History Suggests Māori Proverbs on Bird Extinction Mirrored Fears of Indigenous Group’s Own Decline

The moa, a giant flightless bird, served as symbol of extinction and reflection of Māori fears over encroaching European presence

Is it just instinct?

New Research

New Zealand Penguins Make an Epic, Pointless, Swim to the Southern Ocean

A new satellite study shows the penguins travel over 4,000 miles to feed, even though their home shores are teeming with food

Captain James Cook set out on a voyage across the Pacific 250 years ago, seemingly on a scientific voyage. But he carried secret instructions from the Navy with him as well.

Captain Cook’s 1768 Voyage to the South Pacific Included a Secret Mission

The explorer traveled to Tahiti under the auspices of science 250 years ago, but his secret orders were to continue Britain’s colonial project

New Research

This New Zealand Natural Wonder Is Probably Gone for Good

A new study reconfirms that the Pink and White Terraces were destroyed by a volcano in 1886 and can't be dug up

Covering the tūpuna (Māori ancestral remains) with the leaves of the kawakawa

Preserved Māori Head Returns to New Zealand

The sacred items were once widely collected by Europeans. In recent years, New Zealand has worked to secure the repatriation of these ancestral remains

An obsidian flake tool found at Eastland Port in Gisborne, New Zealand, is one of several artifacts discovered at the site of a 14th century Maori village.

Remains of 14th-Century Village in New Zealand Tells Tales of Māori History

The excavation, which unearthed moa bones and stone tools, helps fill a gap for researchers

New Research

Hundreds of Blue Whales Are Permanent Residents Off New Zealand's Coasts

Survey and genetic data show the whales of South Taranaki Bight are a unique population of non-migratory blue whales

A spectacular sinkhole the length of two football fields and the depth of a six-story building has opened up on a New Zealand farm.

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Massive Sinkhole Opens Up in New Zealand

The gaping chasm has revealed 60,000-year-old volcanic deposits

This sphere is now spinning miles above Earth's surface. You can see it with a naked eye glinting across the night sky.

Rocket Lab Launched This Glittery Sphere Into Orbit

The sphere reflects so much sunlight it can be seen from Earth with the naked eye

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