Tagged: fossil

Something old, something new: meet St Bathans newest fossil duck - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 10, 2022

“Alan, Alan, Alan, we have a big one”. And sure enough, in front of the kids and me was the brown outline of a bone that hadn’t seen the light of day for millions of years. It’s big country out here. And baking hot, even this early in the morning. Driving out of Alexandra up the Manuherikia Valley the views … Read More

The little frog with a big legacy - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Nov 11, 2021

In the bowels of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the little frog waited. In 2005 scientists had released its bones from its sediment tomb on the banks of the Waipara River in North Canterbury. The discoverers – Bruce Marshall, Phil Maxwell, and Al Mannering – had carefully collected the tiny bones that remained and deposited them in … Read More

Fossil Lucky Dip from a Lost World - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jul 10, 2018

I’m lying on a beautiful golden sand beach. The bright sun is beating down upon me. I could be on an isolated, tropical island, if not for the lone giant moa sculpture looming above my head. This sentinel to a lost world stands at the aptly named Old Bones Backpackers at Awamoa, (originally named Te Awa Kōkōmuka), south of Oamaru. Read More

Ancient ancestors of modern baleen whales were toothy not-so-gentle giants - Guest Work

Guest Author May 14, 2018

Felix Georg Marx, Monash University and Robert Ewan Fordyce The largest living whales – including the gigantic 30-metre blue whale – are fast predatory hunters that support their massive bodies by filtering large volumes of tiny prey from cool near-polar waters. They do this using baleen: plates of a tough substance hanging from their upper jaw. Evidence … Read More

Back to the Future in Northland: Fossils illuminate a flight path towards ecosystem restoration - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Apr 18, 2018

Ground control to Major Tom: The otherworldly Herangi Hill at Motu i Pao/Cape Maria van Dieman where Fred found the ancient Moho skull. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Carol. In the pouring rain, surrounded by flowing sand lava and cascading lahars, Fred Brook gingerly walks towards Matt Rayner and me. He’s sliding across a steep sand dune, his hands carefully … Read More

Brows on fleek: Expressive eyebrows in early humans - News

Jean Balchin Apr 11, 2018

There are a number of things about my physical appearance I’m not 100% happy with. I’m pale, covered in freckles and I burn like a crisp on the odd sunny day. But perhaps worst of all is the fact that my eyebrows are virtually non-existent. Unless I carefully pencil them in each morning, my friends and coworkers struggle to ascertain … Read More

Through the looking glass: Fossils reveal a Miocene Wonderland at St Bathans - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 19, 2018

It’s the height of the Central Otago summer – barren, dry and dusty. Driving down the gravel road to St Bathans, we’re travelling back in time, down the rabbit hole to a world long gone. Only ghosts remain of this lost world and that’s what we’ve come here to find. The fossilised bones of a myriad of animals dating back … Read More

A tale of two penguins: Bice and Rosie - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 05, 2018

New Zealand has long been considered the cradle of penguin evolution. But two new fossil discoveries, affectionately known as Bice’s, (pronounced Bee-chee’s), and Rosie’s Penguins, are rewriting early penguin evolution and have taken the world by storm. Move aside Penguins of Madagascar; there are some new and cool kids on the block! But how did we get to this … Read More

A 700,000-year-old fossil find shows the Hobbits’ ancestors were even smaller - Guest Work

Guest Author Jun 09, 2016

By Gerrit (Gert) van den Bergh, University of Wollongong and Adam Brumm, Griffith University It was back in October 2004 when archaeologists first unveiled the partial skeleton of a tiny, small-brained hominin previously unknown to science, now known as Homo floresiensis. These “Hobbit”-like creatures first appeared at Liang Bua cave, on the Indonesian island … Read More

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