During the early Cretaceous (145–65 million years ago [Ma]), most of New Zealand was part of the land mass Gondwana. New Zealand broke away from Gondwana around 85 million years ago. Marine reptiles dominated New Zealand’s Cretaceous seas. Clockwise from top left, these Cretaceous fossils are: marine lizard teeth; a bivalve, Iotrigonia glyptica (93 Ma); jaws of the fish Pachyrhizodus caninus; an ammonite, Gunnarites spathi (75 Ma); a turtle breastplate, Protostegidae (80 Ma); a crustacean carapace, Haumuriaegla glaessneri (75 Ma); and a shark tooth, Lamna crassa.
These fossils are part of the GNS Science National Paleontological Collection.
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Photograph by Alastair McLean
Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.