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?
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?
Some Wolf Spiders shelter in permanent burrows, others wander during the day.
The amazing world of insects and spiders!
8 myths about snakes
Some common misconceptions, and what you can do to keep snakes out of your yard.
Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1944
Established in 1863 to serve as a scientific research institution for Melbourne.
The colour of birds' eggs
The aesthetic qualities of a bird egg can tell you a lot about the species that laid it.
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.
An awe-inspiring astronomical experience in an unique immersive environment.
Stories from the Dynamic Earth exhibition at Melbourne Museum. A stunning exhibition of thousands of minerals to tell the story of our ever-changing planet.
The Murchison meteorite
The story behind one of the most studied meteorites, which fell to earth near Victoria in 1969.
Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world
Found out more about the Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world exhibition at Melbourne Museum, which features more than 750 animals from around the world.
Australia’s megafauna were unique, and included giant marsupials, huge flightless birds and giant reptiles.
Discover the Night Sky
Enjoy a special evening with the stars at the Melbourne Planetarium with Museums Victoria’s resident astronomer Dr Tanya Hill.
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.
Planet or dwarf planet?
A group of astronomers are trying to reclassify Pluto as full 'planet'.
An evening of activities, talks, performances and activities celebrating astronomy and light.
A monthly newsletter that describes where to find the brightest planets in the night sky.
Listening to the Universe
Answer the call of the Universe – discover the science, stories and poetry of the stars.
Moon rock on display
Museums make it possible to see specimens from faraway places that you won't get the chance to visit yourself.
How do diamonds get their colours?
And what's so special about the pink ones?
The Bunyip Gold Nugget Gold
From Reedy Creek track area, north of Eldorado, Victoria, Australia
The Crystal King Quartz
This cut crystal weighs 8510 carats (1.7 kg), measures 19 x 11 x 6 cm and has 196 facets.
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.
Meet the skeletons from Melbourne Museum's Dinosaur Walk exhibition and learn amazing facts about these prehistoric animals.
600 Million Years
The origin and evolution of life in Victoria.
The Cape Paterson Claw Theropoda
This claw - the first dinosaur bone found in Victoria - is commonly known as "the Cape Paterson Claw".
Walk among skeletons of prehistoric animals.
Fossilised eggs of a Sauropod
Fossilised skin impression of a Hadrosaur
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.
Australia's oldest insect specimen
A Common Evening Brown collected in China in 1742.
Children's Stick Insect
Find this stick insect in coastal and inland eucalyptus forests.
Common Grass-blue Butterfly
These small lilac-blue butterflies flutter slowly, stopping frequently to feed on the nectar of low-growing flowers.
Predator vs predator
Wasps give huntsman spiders a taste of their own medicine.
Walk through a stand of Victoria's mountain forests in the middle of the city.
Common Brown Butterfly
This butterfly has orange wings, dark markings and eyespots.
Imperial Hairstreak Butterfly
This butterfly has tails on its hindwings with orange spots just above the tails.
How do you study a bee so small it can barely be seen?
What good are spiders?
Apart from their intrinsic right to be here, spiders do humans a power of good as well.
Little Marbled Scorpion
Is a relatively small species and found in the greater Melbourne region.
Venoms & antivenoms at Museum Victoria
Through necessity, Australia is a world leader in venom and antivenom research.
Can live for more than three years and are known to occur in the greater Melbourne region.
Scientists reveal bushfires cause a decrease in the genetic diversity of Victoria's frog populations
Leaf Green River Tree Frog
These frogs frequent fast-flowing rivers and are excellent swimmers and jumpers.
Over 600 birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians from around the world.
Striped Marsh Frog
Feeds on a variety of foods including smaller frogs.
A burrowing species that usually come to the surface only after summer rains to breed.
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.
The first taipan to be milked for venom
Has a light grey to red-brown body and pale white-yellow to pink-orange underneath.
A legless lizard
Tiger Snakes are variable in colour, ranging from light grey to blackish brown.
Pale-flecked Garden Sunskink
A small skink with a grey-brown to bronze back and striped sides.
Blue-tongues have large heads, long bodies and short legs and toes.
Listening for Nature
Researchers are using advanced digital tools to listen in on animal sounds and map who is where from croaks and calls.
The A. J. Campbell Collection
Documents the life work of a passionate Ornithologist.
Collected by Charles Darwin in May 1833
The first donation to the Museum
Mounted specimen of the Little Pied Cormorant
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.
Sam the Koala
A symbol of hope and resilience amidst the loss and trauma of Australia's worst bushfires on record.
Preparing a specimen for education programs.
The science of poo
Poo is truly fascinating stuff.
An egg-laying mammal most often seen swimming and diving in freshwater at dusk.
The world's largest living marsupial.
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.
Creature of the deep
Its evocative appearance is not the only thing that makes this deep sea creature fascinating and important.
Bunurong Marine National Park Field Guide app
New research finds baleen whales had extreme hearing prior to giant body size and filter-feeding
An Introduction to Marine LifeA Museum Victoria field guide
Crabs, Hermit Crabs and AlliesA Museum Victoria field guide
Dramatic underwater footage, vivid photographs and rare specimens bring Victoria’s marine animals to life.
Prehistoric whale fossil explains a major mystery of evolution – how whales became the largest creatures on Earth
Highlights from the squid dissection held at Melbourne Museum in June 2008.
Small but deadly, this animal runs rings around the competition.
The butterflies of the sea
SpongesA Museum Victoria field guide
Nudibranchs and Related MolluscsA Museum Victoria field guide
Sea anemone feast
Ever bitten off more than you can chew?
Whale vs shark
Evidence of shark bite 24 million years ago.
Collected during the RV Investigator's Sampling the Abyss voyage.
BarnaclesA Museum Victoria field guide
Southern Bobtail Squid
An iridescent green squid that lives in the sand and mud of shallow coastal waters.
Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast
Field Guide app to Victorian Fauna
Third and final volume by MV scientists now available
Wildlife Field Guide app to Gippsland Lakes
Prehistoric Marine Life in Australia's Inland Sea
Gemstones in Victoria
National Field Guide apps
Butterflies: Identification and Life HistoryA Museum Victoria field guide
Robert Lewis John Ellery, astronomer & scientist (1827-1908)
English-born Ellery was Government Astronomer from 1863's advent of Melbourne Observatory until 1895.
Prehistoric GiantsThe megafauna of Australia
Field Guide to the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
Bugs AliveA guide to keeping Australian invertebrates
Hermann Ralph Uhlherr, engineer (1934-present)
A passionate collector of tektites who has had an asteroid named after him.
Melbourne Observatory collection
Over 400 objects and images relating to the operation of Melbourne Observatory from 1863 to 1944.
Shrimps, prawns and lobstersA Museums Victoria field guide
Help us document biodiversity – record your own sightings
Minerals and Gemstones of Victoria
On Google Arts & Culture
Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Perhaps the most popular of the Australian marsupials is the Eastern Grey Kangaroo.
Southern Blue-ringed Octopus
What are these swarming beetles in my garden?
Each January, the Discovery Centre has receives many enquiries about swarms of beetles in suburban gardens in and around Melbourne
Cryptozoology – imagination, science or folklore?
"I know what I saw"
Do centipedes really have 100 legs?
Counting the feet on these ancient invertebrates.
Gold Nugget 'Welcome Stranger' (1869)
Small(er) is beautiful
Megafaunal giants…in miniature
An Aboriginal perspective on Australia's threatened species.
Close encounters with Mallee insects.
Common Gurnard Perch
The largest scorpionfish in Port Phillip Bay.
The Marine State Faunal Emblem for Victoria.
Common Brushtail Possum
The scientific name of the Common Brush-tail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, means "furry tailed little fox".
Western Grey Kangaroo
Have dark brown-grey body fur with darker face and are pale grey underneath
A solitary species that shelters during the day.
Are the only species of Pelican in Australia.
Also known as the Christmas spider or jewel spider.
Eastern Banjo Frog
Burrows in the soil and are sometimes found when people dig in their backyard.
One of the largest members of the kingfisher family.
A dark red and blue parrot with a long pointed tail.
Black Rock Scorpion
Lives in cleared areas beneath rocks or logs in burrows and is found in the greater Melbourne region.
Superb Lyrebirds are excellent mimickers.
A tooth fossil showing markings which appear to be man-made.
A very large moth with brownish orange wings and prominent eyespots.
An insect with striking crimson and blue abdominal bands.
A nocturnally active spider that you may encounter on the ceiling of your house.
Red Headed Mouse Spider
Lives in burrows in the ground, often in banks of rivers and creeks, and is sometimes found in suburban gardens.
White-tailed Spiders often wander, hunting at night to catch other spiders.
Victorian Funnelweb Spider
Lives in silk-lined burrows with strands of silk that radiate away from the entrance to help catch prey.
Brown House Spider
This spider makes a tangled web of sticky threads that attach to the ground or floor.
Spotted Grass Frog
A medium-sized frog with distinctive large regular-shaped brown or olive green blotches along its back.