Teacher Jane Hill shows where she found fossils of a 33-million-year-old marine turtle, at Whareora, Northland. The fossils were from a member of the family Cheloniidae, previously known only from western Europe. The division between sea life and terrestrial life blurs with some species – marine turtles come ashore to breed. When this turtle was alive, northern New Zealand had a marginally tropical climate, and the turtle may have bred ashore. Today, five marine turtle species are found in New Zealand waters, but none breed ashore.
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Reference: 24 December 2005
Photograph by John Stone
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