September 2012

  • 27 September 2012

    Battle to Save Endangered Bee

    Scientists at the South Australian Museum say a spectacular native bee could become extinct if better environmental management practices are not developed.

    The Green Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa (Lestis)) disappeared from the South Australian mainland in the first half of last century and can now only be found on Kangaroo Island and some parts of the east coast of Australia.

    Museum Honorary Research Associate Dr Remko Leijs says the devastating bushfires on Kangaroo Island in 2007 drastically threatened the native habitat of the bee, which nests in dead flowering stalks of grass trees and dead banksia branches that are affected by dry rot.

  • 20 September 2012

    Rare Discovery With a French Connection

    The South Australian Museum has unearthed one of its oldest biological specimens on record, to display for the first time.

    A chiton mollusc or Chiton elongatus (Blainville, 1825) collected by French explorers in Australia in 1802, will go on loan to the South Australian Maritime Museum to feature in a new "First Voyages" exhibition later this year. It is the first time the chiton is going on show.

    The chiton is the product of the exciting Baudin expedition (1800–1803) to map the coast of Australia. French scientists and artists accompanied the expedition to collect new species of animals and plants. It is extremely rare for specimens gathered on early European journeys in Australia to be kept outside of London or Paris.

  • 13 September 2012

    Three New Records for Waterhouse

    The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize™ - Australia's richest prize for natural history art - celebrates a stellar season of excellence in science and art.

    More visitors bought tickets to the Waterhouse exhibition in 2012 than ever before in the event's ten-year history. The unique gallery exposed them to the important scientific messages behind the spectacular artworks on display. From Ediacaran fossils to marine pollution and miniscule insects, nature provided the inspiration for artists worldwide who entered. Our scientists, including palaeontologists, were even approached by painters and sculptors as they strove to understand and recreate their subjects accurately.

  • 04 September 2012

    Scientists Uncover Hotbed of Marine Life in New Caledonia's Reefs

    South Australian Museum parasite expert Ian Whittington is one of several international scientists whose study in New Caledonia is today published in the journal Aquatic Biosystems.

    New Caledonia is home to the biggest coral reef lagoon and the second biggest coral reef on the planet. Coral reefs, essential to the world's ecosystems, are home to more than 25% of global marine biodiversity but comprise less than 0.1% of the Earth's ocean surface. They are considered biological "hotspots" because they are especially rich in marine species. Parasites play a major role in species evolution and the maintenance of populations and ecosystems. However the role of parasites is little known or appreciated.