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Te Papa showcases Aotearoa’s crustacean celebrities

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Te Papa crustacean exhibition

Crabs, shrimps, lobsters, barnacles, slaters, and other crustaceans are the stars of a new mini-exhibition presented by NIWA and Te Papa. Photo: Supplied

Te Papa in Wellington is currently hosting an exhibition featuring the crustacean celebrities of Aotearoa.

The captivating display aims to educate and engage visitors about the diverse range of crustaceans found in New Zealand’s waters.

NIWA scientists Rachael Peart and Kareen Schnabel worked with Te Papa experts to deliver this mini-exhibition that showcases the importance and special capabilities of the ‘insects of the sea’.

“We’re thrilled to be able to highlight these unsung heroes of our ecosystem. We want visitors to touch, explore, and discover these weird and wonderful crustaceans of Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Dan Parke, exhibition experience developer, Te Papa.

“We were inspired by the work of scientists to understand and protect these crustaceans and their homes, and we’re so excited to partner with NIWA on this special project.”

Hosted in The Back Yard of Te Papa’s Te Taiao | Nature, hands-on interactives and real specimens explore the fascinating world and smart survival tricks of these unusual creatures.

“We are telling the stories of some of our favourite critters. Visitors will learn about the ‘shapeshifter’ kōura with its unexpected life stages as a long-distance open-ocean wanderer, the lightning speed with which the native mantis shrimp spears its lunch, the exceptional eyesight of the open ocean Phronima amphipod – which is even being used in techniques to detect cancer in humans – and the radical changes barnacles have undergone to get their kai (food),” added Dr Schnabel.

Mawhiti Tino Rawe | Clever Crustaceans will tour a number of regional galleries around the motu. 

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