Trees in Toolangi State Forest
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Forest Secrets

At the heart of the museum is a piece of Victoria's mountain landscape with tall eucalypts, ferns, rare plants and wildlife. Delve in to the secrets of our Forest Galley.

Illustration showing animals that lived from 635 million years–2.6 million years ago
Visit Melbourne Museum

600 Million Years: Victoria Evolves

How did life on Earth come to be the way it is and what happened in our part of the world?


Discover Documentary: Deep Sea

Scientists are only just starting to uncover what lives in the deepest parts of the world's ocean. Find out about some of the weirdest and most wonderful with Dr Martin Gomon, Curator of Ichthyology and Melanie MacKenzie, Collection Manager of Marine Invertebrates.

Newly-moulted Giant Spider Crab

Melbourne's annual congregation of Giant Spider Crabs

Every year, thousands of Giant Spider Crabs congregate in Port Phillip Bay ahead of their annual winter moult.

Southern Blue-ringed Octopus

Blue-ringed Octopus

Small but deadly, this animal runs rings around the competition.

Worm on a black background

Creature of the deep

Its evocative appearance is not the only thing that makes this deep sea creature fascinating and important.

sea slug

Victoria's nudibranchs

The butterflies of the sea.

book cover

Cephalopod Catalogue

Third and final volume by MV scientists now available

Shark tooth and whale bone

Whale vs shark

Evidence of shark bite 24 million years ago.

sea anemone and shrimp

Sea anemone feast

Ever bitten off more than you can chew?


Ancient whales had more bite than today’s gentle giants

The cutting edge of whale evolution.

A view of a whale at the surface from above

Northern exposure: fossils of a southern whale found for the first time in the north

A totally unexpected discovery.

Preparing fish specimens

Putting names to faceless fishes from the abyss

Understanding which fish species occur where, and discovering new fish species, is the starting point to managing marine biodiversity.


A treasure trove of freshwater fish biodiversity

The Kimberley region in Australia’s northwest is one our last great pristine unspoilt places, and a hotspot for species discovery.


Eulogy for a seastar, Australia’s first recorded marine extinction

Today, I am writing a eulogy to the Derwent River Seastar (or starfish), that formerly inhabited the shores near the Tasman Bridge in Hobart, Tasmania.

A black and white image of a toadlet.

Under fire: The animals threatened by Australia’s bushfire crisis

If there’s one place in the world that knows about extinction, it’s a natural history museum.

A woman sketches a plant cutting while sitting on a grass tree.

The trials and triumphs of a trailblazing scientist

Hope Macpherson was a woman who broke barriers. 

<em>Lithoconus leopardus</em>, Leopard cone.

What is the most venomous animal in the world?

And how its deadly venom could save lives.

The fossilised seal tooth, which is 3 million years old.

Rare fossil tooth find sheds a light on Australia’s distant past


Who’s digging in my lawn?

Learn about land crayfish and their burrows.

A young man holds a fossil.

The puzzle of Melbourne’s small and ancient seals

‘Landmark’ study rewrites the history of seals in southern Australia thanks to fragmentary fossils washed up on a Melbourne beach. 

a closeup of a small orange coloured spider with big eyes pointing of its legs

Nemo found: new species of dancing peacock spider named

Meet the newest dancing peacock spider, Maratus nemo.

an eight legged sea creature

Jurassic relict: a new family of Brittle Stars

Long-armed and bristling with teeth, this Brittle Star is a marine relict.

A large research ship sits at a dock in Darwin

Investigating the IOT: deep-sea science

A journey into Australia's unexplored deep-sea Indian Ocean Territories. 

a fish with no eyes on a black background

Faceless Fish and the deep-sea voyages that found it

Take a dive into the deep sea with the Faceless Fish. 

3D imagery of an eye shaped caldera

A Lord of the Rings-like marine landscape revealed in Australia’s Christmas Island Territory

Take a dive into a Lord of the Rings-inspired seascape.

a small scorpion glowing green under uv light

Glowing animals: understanding bioluminescence and biofluorescence

What do a Platypus, a Dragonfish and a Scorpion all have in common?

two scientists look over a giant devil ray

A Japanese Devilray, far from home

Collecting the first Victorian record of the Japanese Devilray.

dinosaur skeletons on display in a museum

10 really big things in the Museums Victoria State Collection

With millions of objects to choose from, what are the some of the biggest things?

An image of a large whale skeleton on display in a hall

Why are there so many whale skeletons in museums?

Whales grace the halls of many a natural history museum, but they are there for more than just show.  

A picture of three squat lobsters from above

New species of squat lobster helping to revive an Aboriginal language

How the naming of a new species of squat lobster has helped an Aboriginal community reconnect to its ‘sleeping’ language.

a scary looking fish with big teeth

How do deep-sea creatures survive in the crushing dark?

Meet some of the weird and wonderful animals that have adapted to life in the deep sea.

waves lap against the body of a large whale on a sandy beach

Recovering a rarity: what happens when a dead Fin Whale washes ashore?

The stranding of a dead whale offers scientists a rare opportunity to study these elusive giants.

a bat hanging upside down

More Australian species added to the endangered list

Without action, museum collections may be the only evidence some of these endangered species existed.

A striped Tasmanian Tiger looking off into the distance

Lunar New Year: 10 Australian tigers

Think you know tigers? What about those found in Australia? 

an underwater photo of a diver swimming alongside a fish

Jan Watson: diving into the unknown

One of Australia’s first scientific divers, Dr Jan Watson used her tenacity, skill, and passion to realise her underwater ambitions.

a photograph of a silver haired woman wearing an apron in front of a large drawer filled with black and white artistic prints

Rhyll Plant: sowing the seeds of scientific art

Half a century as a scientific artist has taken Rhyll Plant to some unexpected places, but where did it all begin?

A computer generated, multi-coloured image of an underwater mountain

The mighty Muirfield Seamount

From ship slayer to protected wonderland, the Muirfield Seamount has a long history of surprising seafarers.

12 cartoon animals of the Chinese Zodiac

Lunar New Year

This Lunar New Year, come for a tour of the Chinese Zodiac through the Museums Victoria collection.

a composite image of three drawings: a kangaroo, snake, and cassowary

A glimpse into the past, to enlighten the future of biodiversity on Earth

What can we learn from the first scientific descriptions of animals and the Earth’s biodiversity, written hundreds of years ago?

A fish standing on the ocean floor, with three elongated fins

Reproduction can be a lonely task for a deep sea fish

What does it take to reproduce in the cold, dark and lonely world of the deep sea?


What’s in a name? An animal’s can be misleading

When is a tiger not a cat, a fox not a canine, and a jelly fish not a fish? Unfortunately, more often than you might think.

two men holding yellow coloured fossil bones in a laboratory

19-million-year-old fossil jaw bone hints the biggest whales first evolved somewhere unexpected

A newly described fossil from South Australia is making waves in our understanding of where and when whales evolved titanic body sizes.

Five girls looking for marine life on a boat.
Museums Victoria Collections

Help us document biodiversity – record your own sightings

Deep sea creatures
Museums Victoria Collections

Sampling the Abyss

The Sampling the Abyss voyage, 15 May–16 June 2017

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