Read

Jurassic relict: a new family of Brittle Stars

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

Read

Resurrected: native Australian mouse back from extinction

Once lost, now found. 

Craig's hut- wooden cabin in the mountians
Read

Climate change and the environment program

Be a part of something bigger in 2021. Generating conversations about climate change, the environment, science and our society.

Read

Letter from a Tasmanian Tiger

Ever wonder about the life of a museum specimen?

A bat flying low over water
Read

Bats: the flying mammals in dire need of a PR manager

Separating fact from folklore 

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

The trials and triumphs of a trailblazing scientist

Hope Macpherson was a woman who broke barriers. 

Read

The platypus: a unique and vulnerable Australian

What can we do to help the platypus?

Read

Nemo found: new species of dancing peacock spider named

Meet the newest dancing peacock spider, Maratus nemo.

Lightning strike behind trees
Read

Catching Lightning

A fulgurite that took microseconds to form, a moment to break and over 50 years to reassemble.

A large research ship sits at a dock in Darwin
Read

Investigating the IOT: deep-sea science

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

3D imagery of an eye shaped caldera
Read

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.

Read

Our addiction to plastic

Lifting the lid on plastic: the good, the bad and the ugly.

A black and white image of a toadlet.
Read

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 young man holds a fossil.
Read

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 large, smooth surfaced black rock.
Read

Eleven incredible meteorites

The Murchison is just one of many strange and storied space rocks held by Museums Victoria. Here are 10 others—as well as one which disappeared.

A group of young men in an alleyway holding a satellite.
Read

Backyard ballistics: Australia's first DIY satellite

A DIY guide to reaching outer space.

Wedderburn meteorite
Museums Victoria Collections

Wedderburn meteorite

A meteorite from the core of another planet contains one of the rarest minerals on earth.

Visit Scienceworks

Skynotes

Our monthly newsletter on where to find the brightest planets in Melbourne.

Close up of a dinosaur claw
Watch

Unboxing the museum: Deinocheirus claws

The racks and collections in the museum stores contain many objects and memories. This is Collection Manager at Museums Victoria, Tim Ziegler's personal story of just one.

A fearsome, two-legged dinosaur with strong, grasping arms.
Read

Who wielded the Otway Claw?

Meet Victoria’s top Cretaceous predator—a dinosaur that would have eaten Velociraptor for breakfast.

Two people stand before a white sheet in an arid forest at twilight.
Read

Who are the moth hunters?

Meet the citizen scientists who are, literally, discovering new species in their backyards.

A male Maratus volans peacock spider. Image made available through generous donation of its original author.
Read

What good are spiders?

Apart from their intrinsic right to be here, spiders do humans a power of good as well.

Strap-snouted Brown Snake, Pseudonaja aspidorhyncha.
Read

Eight myths about snakes

Some common misconceptions, and what you can do to keep snakes out of your yard.

Snake specimen in jar of ethanol.
Museums Victoria Collections

The first taipan to be milked for venom

An illustrated dragon's head seen from two angles.
Read

When is a creature extinct?

And does this dragon still exist?

Bird perched on a branch
Read

Listening for Nature

Researchers are using advanced digital tools to listen in on animal sounds and map who is where from croaks and calls.

H.L. White egg collection, tray of Magpie eggs.
Read

The colour of birds' eggs

The aesthetic qualities of a bird egg can tell you a lot about the species that laid it.

External site

A.J. Campbell on Google Arts & Culture

Passionate ornithologist, naturalist and photographer.

Three Little Pied Cormorant specimens mounted on a board.
Museums Victoria Collections

The first donation to the Museum

 Mounted specimen of the Little Pied Cormorant

Mounted male Cheetah specimen (Acinonyx jubatus: Felidae, Carnivora, Mammalia, Chordata). Specimen was a captive inhabitant of Werribee Open Range Zoo called Haraku, who died in captivity on 13 November 2008.
Watch

Discover Documentary: Taxidermy

Museums Victoria owns some of the world's most iconic taxidermy specimens from the famous Phar Lap to the infamous Sad Otter. There are over 16 million items in our collection and over 6 thousand of these are taxidermy. But why do scientists still use physical specimens?

Worker bees with pollen stored in beehive cells.
Watch

Discover Documentary: Bees

In this episode of Discover, Dr. Ken Walker takes us into Museums Victoria's Entomology Collection. As an expert in native bees, he explains how these tiny creatures have a major global impact.

Hog nosed rat
Watch

Discover Documentary: Rats

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi is home to a unique mix of Australian and Asian animals found nowhere else on Earth, including a number of rat species that are one of a kind. Find out how research being conducted by Dr Kevin Rowe and his colleagues into these rats is helping us to understand the evolution of life on our planet.

Watch

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.

whale preying on fish
Watch

Discover Documentary: Prehistoric marine mammals

What creatures swam in Australia's oceans millions of years ago? In this episode of Discover, palaeontologists Dr Erich Fitzgerald and Tim Ziegler explain how they find and prepare the fossils which are revealing the secrets of Victoria's prehistoric marine mammals.

Specimen box storage for the liquid nitrogen cryofacility freezing tank, Ian Potter Bio-Bank.
Watch

Discover Documentary: Biobank

Discover the Ian Potter Australian Wildlife Biobank: a state-of-the-art liquid nitrogen storage facility containing tissue, venom, and even live cells. 

River at sunset
Watch

Discover Documentary: The Murray Explored Bioscan

Following in the footsteps of William Blandowski, the Museum's first curator.

Conservation at Museums Victoria.
Watch

Discover Documentary: Conservation

From wedding dresses to meteorites, our Conservation team protect and preserve over 17 million objects in Museums Victoria's collection. This episode of Discover takes a look at how they do it!

A spider sits atop a pencil.
Read

Why the 2010s were the decade of the peacock spider

How disruptors and digital technology led to a frenzy of scientific discovery.

Trees in Toolangi State Forest
Visit Melbourne Museum

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.

Dinosaur skull cast
Visit Melbourne Museum

Dinosaur Walk

The Dinosaur Walk exhibition brings dinosaurs, pterosaurs and megafauna to life. Learn about the 17 skeletons of prehistoric animals on display!

A woman and 2 children pointing at a large screen
Visit Melbourne Museum

Dynamic Earth

Uncover the story of our planet. Dynamic Earth is a stunning exhibition that uses thousands of minerals to tell the story of our ever-changing planet.

Wombat, as depicted in 'An account of the English colony in New South Wales, from its first settlement in January 1788 to August 1801'.
Visit Melbourne Museum

The Art of Science

Museum Victoria's archive of artworks, working drawings and rare books traces the development of scientific art and provides a glimpse into a world of uncommon beauty.

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?

Read

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 view of a whale at the surface from above
Read

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

A totally unexpected discovery.

Read

Ancient whales had more bite than today’s gentle giants

The cutting edge of whale evolution

Newly-moulted Giant Spider Crab
Read

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
Read

Blue-ringed Octopus

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

Finished reconstruction of extinct Australian megafauna, Palorchestes.
Read

Australia's megafauna

Australia’s megafauna were unique, and included giant marsupials, huge flightless birds and giant reptiles.

Tasmanian tigers in captivity.
Read

Secrets from beyond extinction: the Tasmanian tiger

The entire thylacine genome has now been sequenced, revealing the apex marsupial predator was in poor genetic health and may have struggled to fight disease had it survived.

two rock fragments
Read

The Murchison meteorite

The story behind one of the most studied meteorites, which fell to earth near Victoria in 1969. 

Worm on a black background
Read

Creature of the deep

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

Wombat poo
Read

The science of poo

Poo is truly fascinating stuff.

Centipede
Read

Do centipedes really have 100 legs?

Counting the feet on these ancient invertebrates.

moon rock in an museum exhibition
Read

Moon rock on display

Museums make it possible to see specimens from faraway places that you won't get the chance to visit yourself.

pink diamond
Read

How do diamonds get their colours?

And what's so special about the pink ones?

Specimens in glass jars
Read

Extinct Tasmanian Tiger now back in 3D

Using 3D scanning, researchers are peeking under the preserved skin of Tasmanian tiger specimens to reconstruct its growth and development.

Cockroach
Read

Bountiful Mallee

Close encounters with Mallee insects.

Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, Leadbeater's Possum, mount.
Read

A good possum is hard to find

The story of Leadbeater's Possum is a remarkable one. 

skull
Read

Small(er) is beautiful

Megafaunal giants…in miniature

People wearing high vis working on a beach
Read

The 700

More than 700 individuals whose combined efforts, starting in 1984, have brought to light fossils in what has been dubbed by one of them “The Dinosaur Dreaming Project”.

The tower which formed the centre of an octagonal glasshouse in The System Garden.
Read

Our first Director's vision for a University Botanical Garden

How Melbourne University's System Garden came to be.

Professor Deirdre Coleman, Nik McGrath and Simon Hinkley in the ABC Radio Melbourne Studio, 19 November 2019.
Read

On the wing

Professor Deirdre Coleman, Nik McGrath and Simon Hinkley join Richelle Hunt in the ABC Radio Melbourne Studio.

Portrait of a young man
Read

George Lyell's letters

In addition to the development of his moth and butterfly collection, George Lyell’s letters reveal much about his personal relationships.

Portrait of Dr G.A. Waterhouse arranging specimens in his collection at the Australian Museum, 2 February 1931.
Read

Kindred spirits

Between 1891 and 1947, George Lyell and Gustavus Athol Waterhouse's regular correspondence shared a passion for moths and butterflies.

Mirabilis (female) from the George Lyell Collection at Melbourne Museum.
Read

Light sheets

Peter Marriott talks moth bioscans in the Otways for National Science Week at Melbourne Museum.

A pressed orchid specimen.
Read

Pressed Orchids

Unlike their Asian counterparts, Australian orchids like the rosy spider orchid, pictured below, are beautifully understated. Delicate and beautiful, they are not flashy like the orchids available at your local nursery.

Moth specimens in a museum collection
Read

Butterflies of the night

The aim of the "George Lyell Collection: Australian entomology past and present" project is to examine the George Lyell collection scientifically and culturally, and to share discoveries with the wider community.

“Butterflies of Australia” (1914) proofs from the Museums Victoria Archives
Read

Moths are beautiful too

At October's Nocturnal event, a multidisciplinary team of Museum workers and a guest speaker from University of Melbourne got together to present items from the George Lyell Collection to visitors.

Sepia portrait of a young man
Read

The sting of the final letter

Transcribing George Lyell's final documents.

Pluto
Read

Planet or dwarf planet?

A group of astronomers are trying to reclassify Pluto as full 'planet'.

The RRS James Clark Ross
Read

The Larsen-C Benthos expedition

What lurks beneath the Antarctic ice? Museums Victoria's Mel Mackenzie is one of the lucky scientists on a voyage south to find out.

sea slug
Read

Victoria's nudibranchs

The butterflies of the sea.

Black and orange beetle on a flower
Read

What are these swarming beetles in my garden?

Each January, the Museum receives many enquiries about swarms of beetles in suburban gardens in and around Melbourne

DeepDream by Kit Webster, LightTime art installation on display in Scienceworks
Read

Dream Deep

The story behind Joe Meldrum's improvised dance piece in the infinity room of Scienceworks' LightTime exhibition.

Barramundi
Read

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.

Preparing fish specimens
Read

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.

Black wasp
Read

Predator vs predator

Wasps give huntsman spiders a taste of their own medicine.

Shark tooth and whale bone
Read

Whale vs shark

Evidence of shark bite 24 million years ago.

skull with testing equipment attached
Read

Augmented Humans

Melbourne is home to exciting new innovations combining medicine, design and technology. Many of these have the power to augment human abilities.

book cover
Read

Cephalopod Catalogue

Third and final volume by MV scientists now available

sea anemone and shrimp
Read

Sea anemone feast

Ever bitten off more than you can chew?

man with taxidermied koala
Read

Outreach koala

Preparing a specimen for education programs.

Image taken by a microscope of a bees head
Read

Buzz off!

How do you study a bee so small it can barely be seen? 

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

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.
Read

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

Read

Who’s digging in my lawn?

Learn about land crayfish and their burrows.

Female Badge Huntsman Spider underside
Read

Is my spider a boy or a girl?

At some times in a spider’s life it is easy to tell, but at other times it can be impossible.

Black Rock Scorpion
Read

Scorpion facts and fallacies

Are all scorpions dangerous? Answers to this and other common scorpion questions. 

A White-plumed Honeyeater aperch on a wire
Read

Birds and birdwatching

Birds are highly visible and vocal, spectacularly diverse and fascinating to watch and study.

Read

Your eight-legged housemates

At Museums Victoria we are often asked: “What kind of spider is this? It was in my house! Is it dangerous?”

A cute and furry little creature is held to camera.
Read

Nowhere to hide?

Searching for the elusive Tooarrana in the wake of the fires.

A white Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Read

Colour Variations: It doesn't look like that in the book

If an animal looks different to what you see in the field guides, there are many possible explanations - some more surprising than others.

Two celestial orbs crossing paths.
Read

Astronomy and the art of scientific storytelling

Capturing the awesome story of the universe.  

Taxidermy training model of a Princess Parrot
Read

Museums, Specimens and Taxidermy

Bringing the dead to life - sort of!

A scientist holding a wolf skull
Read

Tasmanian Tiger: lessons from the last of its kind

Museum specimens are enabling new discoveries about extinct species, long after they are gone. 

View of the Wild Amazing Animals exhibition, worldwide environments.
Read

Wild goodbyes

We've been blown away by the number of people who have reached out to us about Wild—here are some answers to your most often asked questions. 

Black and white image of a woman wearing a lab coat in a science lab
Read

Anne Bermingham, a scientific pioneer of radiocarbon dating

Meet the woman who started Australia’s first radiocarbon dating lab.

Black and White portrait of a woman
Read

Sylvia Whincup, a prolific collector and groundbreaking mineralogist

Sylvia amassed a collection of thousands of specimens and 167 new species.

Read

The doyenne of dinosaur discovery

Melissa Lowery has a rare talent for finding dinosaurs.

Read

Flight of fashion: when feathers were worth twice their weight in gold

The high price of feathered hats in the 1800s.

Read

Faceless Fish and the deep-sea voyages that found it

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

Face-on view of a Swamp Rat (Rattus lutreolus)
Read

Native and introduced rats: some quick and dirty facts

Can you tell a native rat from a pest species?

a small scorpion glowing green under uv light
Read

Glowing animals: understanding bioluminescence and biofluorescence

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

dinosaur skeletons on display in a museum
Read

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
Read

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 photo of the front of the Melbourne Museum
Read

Birthday honours: 21 of our favourite things about the Melbourne Museum

Fascinating facts about Melbourne’s favourite museum.

a scary looking fish with big teeth
Read

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.

Dinosaur claw specimen with handwritten registration number.
Museums Victoria Collections

The Cape Paterson Claw Theropoda

This claw - the first dinosaur bone found in Victoria - is commonly known as "the Cape Paterson Claw".

Brass instrument in glazed wooden case.
Museums Victoria Collections

Melbourne Observatory collection

Over 400 objects and images relating to the operation of Melbourne Observatory from 1863 to 1944.

Venoms & antivenoms at Museum Victoria
Museums Victoria Collections

Venoms & antivenoms at Museum Victoria

Through necessity, Australia is a world leader in venom and antivenom research.

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

Help us document biodiversity – record your own sightings

Front view of brown spider showing two rows of eyes.
Museums Victoria Collections

Wolf spiders

Some Wolf Spiders shelter in permanent burrows, others wander during the day.

Pinned butterfly in box with paper label.
Museums Victoria Collections

Australia's oldest insect specimen

A Common Evening Brown collected in China in 1742.

Green and brown mottled toad huddled on brown ground.
Museums Victoria Collections

Sudell's Frog

A burrowing species that usually come to the surface only after summer rains to breed.

Black, white and yellow spiny spider on web.
Museums Victoria Collections

Spiny Spider

Also known as the Christmas spider or jewel spider.

Orange and brown frog on orange-brown soil surface.
Museums Victoria Collections

Eastern Banjo Frog

Burrows in the soil and are sometimes found when people dig in their backyard.

Black spider with red markings with eggs.
Museums Victoria Collections

Redback Spider

Bright green frog on partially submerged rock.
Museums Victoria Collections

Leaf Green River Tree Frog

These frogs frequent fast-flowing rivers and are excellent swimmers and jumpers. 

Extinct mammal incisor with scratches.
Museums Victoria Collections

Diprotodon tooth

A tooth fossil showing markings which appear to be man-made.

A Spotted Grass Frog with yellow stripe along its back.
Museums Victoria Collections

Spotted Grass Frog

A medium-sized frog with distinctive large regular-shaped brown or olive green blotches along its back.

Deep sea creatures
Museums Victoria Collections

Sampling the Abyss

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

Black and white image of a man standing next to a telescope
External site

Great Melbourne Telescope

Great Melbourne Telescope project website. The goal is to restore the telescope to working order so that it may be used for educational and public viewing.

White mineral crystals
External site

Minerals and Gemstones of Victoria

See some of Museums Victoria's collection on Google Arts & Culture.

Black and white photo of a man in a suit operating a very old computer which is several cabinets in a row with many wires, switches and dials.
External site

CSIRAC - the world's oldest intact first-generation electronic computer

When it was built CSIRAC was at the cutting edge of the new field of computing.

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