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
All posts tagged “New Zealand Jurassic”
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
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 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
Horsetail Marshes of the New Zealand Jurassic
In the Jurassic, New Zealand had ‘horsetails’ (Latin: Equisetum) – an odd-looking plant , a bit like a long brush with whorls of narrow leaves and are related to ferns. Apart from their shape some of the extinct forms had a strange ‘diaphram’ attached to their… Read more
Podozamites – a multi-veined conifer in New Zealand’s Jurassic
Most conifer leaves have just one vein, whether they be the needles of pines, or the much broader leaves of some tropical conifers. This limits their size and shape (they mostly stay small and can’t do fancy stuff like many flowering plant leaves). Just two… Read more
New Zealand: The Jurassic fossil forest at Curio Bay
If you make your way down to almost the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, you can walk among the stumps of a petrified Jurassic forest (that’s about 170 million years old). It’s a gem of New Zealand’s fossil plant history, and because of its complete preservation… Read more
Where was the Murihiku in the Jurassic?
A few years ago I used to teach American classes that came to the University of Queensland. One evening my Stanford class had just arrived and I wandered over to their college accommodation to say Hello. I came across an odd sight – a knot… Read more
Cladophlebis – New Zealand’s Mesozoic Weed
The fern Cladophlebis is probably the single-most common plant fossil in the New Zealand Jurassic. It’s present in virtually every plant fossil site of that age, so much so that Mildenhall (1974) referred to it as ‘Mesozoic weed’. When New Zealanders talk about ‘fern rock’,… Read more