Story: Evolution of plants and animals

Break-up of Gondwana

The most important factor affecting the evolution of life in New Zealand was its break with the Gondwana supercontinent 85 million years ago. After being isolated, New Zealand was too far away for many plants and animals to reach. The ocean acted as a selective filter. Many life forms that arose on other lands over the past 85 million years could not spread to New Zealand.

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How to cite this page:

Matt McGlone, 'Evolution of plants and animals - Evolution, geology and climate', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 January 2020)

Story by Matt McGlone, published 24 Sep 2007