Story: Fossils

Triassic fossil shells

Triassic fossil shells

Most of New Zealand’s fossils are marine shells which were buried by sediment on the sea floor. These shells (Monotis richmondiana) date from the Triassic period and were collected by Harold Wellman and co-workers from greywacke beds in the Southern Alps, in the headwaters of the Trent River, Westland. Only a few fossils have been found in alpine greywackes, but Wellman always maintained that fossils could be found if you looked hard enough. The Zig-Zag rice papers in the photograph give a sense of scale – and show that Wellman preferred to roll his own cigarettes.

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Private collection
Photograph by Harold Wellman

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How to cite this page:

Hamish Campbell, 'Fossils - Age of the dinosaurs – Mesozoic', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

Story by Hamish Campbell, published 12 Jun 2006