Story: Fossils



One of the main reasons for large gaps in New Zealand’s fossil record is the dynamic geological environment. Large periods of geological time have very few rock formations left as they have been destroyed. Mountains have been raised up and eroded away. Glaciers have lain over much of the land, grinding and scouring away the rocks beneath. Palaeontologists are left with the remaining rocks (and the fossils they contain) as records of past life – but as the record is incomplete, so the history of life in New Zealand is incomplete.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Christina Troup

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Hamish Campbell, 'Fossils - Bird fossils', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2024)

Story by Hamish Campbell, published 12 Jun 2006