Story: Evolution of plants and animals

Reef coral

Reef coral

This is the largest specimen of reef coral (Plesiastrea) yet found in the Waitākere Ranges, west of Auckland. Reef corals here date from the early Miocene period (16–20 million years ago), and are evidence that at this time northern New Zealand was subtropical, with sea-surface temperatures 5–7°C warmer than at present. A similar environment today can be found on the Kermadec Islands, where reef corals grow on submerged rocks and gravels.

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Private collection
Photograph by Bruce Hayward

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How to cite this page:

Matt McGlone, 'Evolution of plants and animals - Split from Gondwana', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Matt McGlone, published 24 Sep 2007