Story: Fossils

Paleozoic fossils

Paleozoic fossils

Clockwise from top left: graptolites, coral, a snail, a bivalve mollusc, another coral, a brachiopod and a trilobite. It was during 10 million years of the Cambrian period of the Paleozoic era, known as the Cambrian explosion (530–520 million years ago) that the basic body forms of the major animal phyla that exist today were established. While graptolites and trilobites are long extinct, snail, coral, brachiopod and bivalve mollusc species are still with us.

These fossils are part of the GNS Science National Paleontological Collection.

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GNS Science
Photograph by Alastair McLean

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Hamish Campbell, 'Fossils - Oldest fossils – Paleozoic', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Hamish Campbell, published 12 Jun 2006