New Zealand

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

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

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