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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Photograph by Harold Wellman
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