Some fun things from Papua New Guinea

Here are a few fun things that we brought back from Papua New Guinea, and that you can download...


Ringtones for your phone...

During this recent trip, we collected over one hundred recordings of different bird sounds.  I've edited some of these and turned them into .M4r files that you can load onto your telephone and use as ringtones, alarms, etc.  You should be able to listen to them with most sound players.


Louisiade White-eye (Zosterops griseotinctus) was a common bird on the smaller, low islands - especially the islands without people.  The call note was a ubiquitous buzzy background.  Its call is a long series of warbling trilly notes that drifted down from the high branches.  These were both recorded on Nare Island, Near Anagusa Island, Engineer Group, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, on 14 October 2009.



Our New Guinea Blogs

Take an inside look at the work of Research Division’s Ornithology and Mammalogy department. Learn about what our staff does every day, view amazing expedition pictures, and get information on ongoing research projects as well as current topics in the Ornithology and Mammalogy community.

Scientific museum specimens were often collected for one reason, and then used in studies that were not even imagined by the original field collector.  This is easy to understand for collections made 100 years ago for taxonomic purposes and that are now used for studies of stable isotopes, ancient DNA, environmental toxicology, and evidence of […]
After we articulated the second flipper and the Built for Speed exhibit closed on September 29th, it was time to put Orca O319 on permanent display. He couldn’t stay hanging on that frame in the piazza forever! It was decided that he should be someplace where people could see him up close like they had […]
It’s been almost two months since we completed O319, but there is still one piece missing: the right flipper. I mentioned previously that O319 only has its left flipper completed while the bones from the right flipper continue to be cleaned. As I explained before, the humerus, radius, and ulna of the right flipper were originally […]
On Sunday, June 9th, we finished our articulation (all except for the right flipper, which will be completed at a later date. Read more about that here). The  hyoids, scapulae, flipper, pelvic bones, and skull were all attached to complete O319’s skeleton. Over the last five weeks, we had 286 total pieces to assemble. The […]
Another time-intensive process has been matching up the ribs, getting them in the right order, and attaching them to the skeleton. Just like the vertebrae, it’s a bit overwhelming to pull all of the ribs out on a table and realize that they have to be matched and ordered, but it’s not so bad once […]
Orca O319 recently received a new set of teeth made out of polyurethane!  Instead of remaining on display with the rest of the skeleton, the real set of teeth from O319 will be kept in the Ornithology and Mammalogy collection to be available for researchers.  Teeth of the offshore Orca ecotype are of special interest […]
One of the more time-intensive parts of the articulation process is assembling the flippers. From the outside, flippers look like they might be made up of cartilage, like the dorsal fin. However, there are many small bones within the flipper that correspond to the arm and hand bones that you would find in a human. […]
One of the first parts of the Orca that we’ve been working on is the backbone. In a previous post, I showed our volunteers putting all of the vertebrae in order and gluing the vertebral epiphyses on. Now, we’ve moved on to actually drilling holes in each vertebra so that they can fit over a […]
We’ve been getting some great questions from our visitors about Orca O319 and Orcas in general. Here is a sampling of the questions we’ve gotten, along with our answers: What does “Orca” mean? The scientific name of Orcas is Orcinus orca: “Orcinus” means “kingdom of the dead” or “belonging to Orcus” (a Roman god of […]
Now that I’ve told O319’s story, it’s time to get to the fun part – the articulation! We started on Wednesday, May 8th by sorting through the vertebrae and grouping them by type from head to tail: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and caudal. Once sorted, they were then ordered based on size measurements taken of each […]


  • John P. Dumbacher (Jack)
  • Curator and Department Chair
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5377 (direct)
  • 415-379-5378