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ARTICLE

Poisonous animals in New Zealand

New Zealand has a very small number of poisonous animals. These animals are also called ‘venomous’ as their toxins (venoms) need to be injected by a bite (for example, spiders) or sting (for ...

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ARTICLE

Measuring toxicity

Toxicity can be measured by the effect the substance has on an organism, a tissue or a cell. We know that individuals will respond differently to the same dose of a substance because of a number ...

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ARTICLE

Cockles

Cockles are classified as bivalves within the phylum Mollusca. (Almost all shelled marine animals, as well as octopus and squid, are molluscs.) The New Zealand cockle, also known as tuaki or ...

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ARTICLE

Observing clouds and weather

Wayfinder navigators always look for signs of weather at sunrise and sunset. This is when they try to predict the weather for the next 12 hours. One of the easiest ways to predict weather is to ...

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ACTIVITY

Tracking toxins

In this activity, students model bioaccumulation of toxins in marine animals. They participate in a food web game where feeding decisions determine their survival. By the end of this activity ...

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Mussels

Mussels are bivalve molluscs. New Zealand has 22 species of mussel including the blue mussel (kuku), little black mussel (hauea) and the ribbed mussel (pukanikani). Depending on the species ...

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New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel industry

Green-lipped mussels are New Zealand’s major aquaculture species. Explore how green-lipped mussels are farmed in New Zealand, the way that the industry has developed and the challenges that ...

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ARTICLE

Life of a green-lipped mussel

Green-lipped mussels are endemic to New Zealand. They make their home on rocks and solid surfaces around New Zealand’s coastline. Mussel life cycle   During its life cycle, the green-lipped ...

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ARTICLE

Navigating with Sun, Moon and planets

Knowledge about the apparent movement of the Sun, Moon and planets across the celestial sphere is important for wayfinding. You can estimate position and direction by observing, for example ...

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ARTICLE

The Waka Tapu voyage

Navigator Jack Thatcher commanded the two waka hourua that sailed from Aotearoa (New Zealand) to Rapanui (Easter Island) and back. Te Aurere and its supporting vessel Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, known ...

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ARTICLE

Rena wrecked on reef: oil clean-up on-going

On 5 October 2011, Maritime New Zealand was called to respond to an ‘incident’ in the early hours of the morning. The 236 m cargo vessel Rena had struck the Astrolabe Reef about 12 nautical miles ...

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Navigating by ocean swells

When clouds hide the celestial signs, navigators use ocean swells, as well as the wind and waves, to determine their direction. Mau Piailug – grandmaster navigator around the Pacific Ocean – once ...

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ARTICLE

Farming green-lipped mussels – introduction

Green-lipped mussels (kūtai, Perna canaliculus) are endemic to New Zealand. Discover how these mussels are farmed, and how a tiny parasitic crab affects the mussel industry. New Zealand’s unique ...

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ARTICLE

Where land meets sea, the Rena disaster – introduction

The resources in this collection are about where the land meets the sea. New Zealand has 15,134 km of coastline with extensive marine habitat. Land and sea are intricately linked, one impacting ...

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Wayfinding

Wayfinding is about all of the ways in which people and animals orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place. Traditionally, wayfinding referred to the navigation of ocean ...

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ARTICLE

Human impacts on the Bay of Plenty

Coastal marine ecosystems balance on a fine ecological edge. They are dynamic and can easily be disturbed by human impact such as contamination from pollution or excessive harvesting. They can ...

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ARTICLE

Grey side-gilled sea slugs

In 2009, some grey side-gilled sea slugs (Pleurobranchaea maculata) were found to be toxic following the deaths of several dogs on Auckland beaches. It was not previously known that these slugs ...

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ARTICLE

Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge

The sea is our taonga. Our connections to it are strong. More than 75% of New Zealanders live within 10 km of the coast, and the sea is an important part of our Kiwi lifestyle – whether we use it ...

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