Letter from a Tasmanian Tiger

Ever wonder about the life of a museum specimen?

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.

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?

Hog nosed rat

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.

whale preying on fish

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.

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. 

Bird perched on a branch

Listening for Nature

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

man with taxidermied koala

Outreach koala

Preparing a specimen for education programs.

Tasmanian tigers in captivity.

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.

Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, Leadbeater's Possum, mount.

A good possum is hard to find

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

Specimens in glass jars

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.

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.

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

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

A cute and furry little creature is held to camera.

Nowhere to hide?

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

A white Eastern Grey Kangaroo

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.

Taxidermy training model of a Princess Parrot

Museums, Specimens and Taxidermy

Bringing the dead to life - sort of!

A scientist holding a wolf skull

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.

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. 

a closeup of a cute mouse

Resurrected: native Australian mouse back from extinction

Once lost, now found. 

a platypus perched on a log

The platypus: a unique and vulnerable Australian

What can we do to help the platypus?

A bat flying low over water

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

Separating fact from folklore 

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

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

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

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 photo of the front of the Melbourne Museum

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

Fascinating facts about Melbourne’s favourite museum.

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? 

a green reptile extends its tongue to catch an insect. a woman smiles in the background

Forbidden objects in the museum's collection

What do a doll, religious text, gun, and surprised-looking cat have in common? 

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 hand drawn map of Melbourne city grid

How poo shapes a city (and other scatalogical stories)

What do Melbourne’s laneways, the Spotswood Pumping Station at Scienceworks, and termite mounds all have in common?

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?


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.

a wombat running with all four legs off the ground

How do we know wombats can run at 40km/h?

Uncovering the truth behind a wombat's top speed.

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

Help us document biodiversity – record your own sightings

Join the mailing list and get the latest from our Museums direct to your inbox.

Share your thoughts to WIN

We'd love to hear about your experience with our website. Our survey takes less than 10 minutes and entries go in a draw to win a $100 gift voucher at our online store!