A Graneledone taniwha taniwha octopus collected from around
900 metres on the Chatham Rise. It's only about 5cm tall. The common
name is 'deepwater warty octopus' - one of two species endemic to New
Zealand found between around 450-1500m.
A fish choking a shark with slime is among creatures from the deep,
never seen publicly before, on show at Te Papa from today.
Deep NZ: Our underwater wilderness, developed by NIWA, GNS Science
and Te Papa, promises to showcase New Zealand’s deepwater habitats and
creatures such as crabs, tubeworms, precious corals, fish, molluscs and
The specimens on display have never been seen by the public before and many are new to science.
National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
collection manager Kareen Schnabel said the exhibition showcased why New
Zealand’s deep sea life was so special.
"This exhibition showcases our deep-sea research in New Zealand. If
we don’t know what is down there, then we can’t take care of it."
NIWA scientist Dianne Tracey said it highlighted what was being
studied in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone, which spans four
million square kilometres.
"From a range of deep-sea habitats: hot vents and cold seeps,
seamounts and rocky slopes, the life found on the vast muddy plains and
the creatures that swim in the cold dark waters."
All up, 60 specimens are on display, as well as two videos, taking viewers as deep as 10,000m under the sea.
The video includes rare footage of a shark attacking a hagfish, then
the hagfish defending itself by choking the shark with slime.
One of the deep sea animals caught on camera was the New Zealand
endemic ‘‘deep-sea warty octopus’’, photographed 900m deep on the
For a month of the year-long exhibition, the University of
Aberdeen’s ‘‘Hadal Lander’’ will be on display, before being put back to
work in the Kermadec Trench, one of the deepest parts of New Zealand
The submersible is sent down to the deepest parts of the ocean. Bait
is attached to attract animals that are filmed by a high-resolution
The exhibition coincides with the 13th International Deep-Sea
Biology Symposium, which is being hosted by NIWA at Te Papa from