Do we have a submerged ‘Doggerland‘ in New Zealand? In 1950 a boat, the HMNZS ‘Lachlan’ dredged a sample of “lignite” from the bottom of Toitoi (or Toetoe) Bay, at the far south end of New Zealand’s South Island, from a depth of nine fathoms… Read more
All posts tagged “New Zealand plant fossils”
How Much Carbon Dioxide was in the Atmosphere of New Zealand’s Jurassic Curio Bay Fossil Forest?
How do you figure out how much carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere millions of years ago? In the Jurassic, the fossil forest at Curio Bay in New Zealand was probably growing in higher latitudes than any forest in the Southern Hemisphere today. The reasons… Read more
What latitude did the Jurassic Fossil Forest of Curio Bay grow at?
The Jurassic fossil forest of Curio Bay today lies almost at the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. In the Jurassic, you could have walked from Curio Bay to what is now Australia and Antarctica (Dinosaurs may have done just that). We know from… Read more
New Zealand’s first fossil horsetails in millions of years
With the precious fossils laid out carefully on a sun-hat held in my hands, I took a confident stride from one boulder to the next. And slipped. My left knee cap took the full impact of my body on another boulder, about a meter down.… Read more
Deciduous Conifers in New Zealand’s Jurassic Fossil Forest at Curio Bay
As you pull up in the car park above the fossil forest at Curio Bay (Pole 1999, 2001, 2004, 2009), there is a wonderful patch of living, native forest, just behind. Its conifers, like all New Zealand conifers today, are evergreen. But what of Curio… Read more
How Tall were the trees in New Zealand’s Jurassic Fossil Forest at Curio Bay?
At Curio Bay near the southernmost point of New Zealand’’s South Island, you can walk around the remains of a Jurassic fossil forest. Tree stumps are still in their growth position, and fossilised logs criss-cross through the sandstone overlying them. So can we add these… Read more
The Lost Forest of the Ashley River, Canterbury, New Zealand
A gem in the heart of Christchurch is Riccarton Bush (sometimes called Deans Bush). It’s a patch of original kahikatea forest, just a few hundred meters from the Riccarton shopping center (See Molloy,1995, for pretty much all you need to know about the forest). As anyone… Read more
Phyllocladus fossils from the Miocene of New Zealand, and Cretaceous Protophyllocladus
A rare plant fossil in the Miocene Manuherikia Group of New Zealand, is Phyllocladus (the Celery Pine). This is a strange conifer which, instead of leaves, the adult plant has multi-veined flattened branches that are called phylloclades. With these phylloclades, the average person would scarcely believe Phyllocladus is… Read more
The Biggest Tree Stump in the Curio Bay Jurassic Forest
Back in the late 1980s I had the pleasure of meeting the English scientist David Bellamy. Bellamy was famous at the time as ‘The Botanic Man’, and he was in New Zealand to film for ‘Moa’s Ark’, a TV series and book about the development of… Read more
The Amazing Miocene Fossil Leaf Pack of Mata Creek, New Zealand
I was crouched in a long boat somewhere up a rainforest-swathed river in Kalimatan, Borneo, when I saw it – a ‘living’ example of a fossil leaf pack I had once seen in New Zealand. Several years before, I had been exploring down a little… Read more