News | Environment
21 Feb 2018 23:46
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Environment

    Ancient insect fossils found in NZ

    Researchers have discovered fungi and insect fossils estimated to be 15-25 million years-old, with some the first recorded in the entire Southern Hemisphere.

    Researchers have uncovered ancient fungi and insect fossils that are millions of years old and, in some cases, the oldest historical record found of the plants and animals in the Southern Hemisphere.

    A University of Otago team of paleontologists led international scientists in the breakthrough research mission, collecting fossils from amber deposits from over 30 sites in New Zealand.

    The fossils range in size from 15-25 million years old and give an insight into the types of animals and plants that were around at that time including fungi, ants, beetles and a number of spiders, some preserved with their webs holding the remains of prey.

    University of Otago Palaeontologist Dr Uwe Kaulfuss says the fossils are significant because of what they tell us about the country's ecological history, as a long-isolated former Gondwanan landmass.

    "These fossils are really important for us because they provide a very rare opportunity to look back on what made up New Zealand's forest and ecosystem 25 million-years-ago."

    "We now know what kind of animals and plants were around at that time and what has gone extinct since then.''

    Hundreds of kilograms of amber - or fossilised tree resin - were extracted from over 30 coal deposit sites, which had preserved the delicate life forms that are often absent from existing fossil records, Dr Kaulfass said.

    The often brittle or fractured amber makes studying it difficult but new techniques developed in the laboratory of Professor Alexander Schmidt in Germany helped reveal numerous fossils with 3D preservation.

    The Marsden-funded study, which involved 27 researchers from 16 institutions in eight countries, was published online this week in the journal Gondwana Research.


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

     Other Environment News
     21 Feb: Gita hits New Plymouth's water supplies
     21 Feb: Number of South Island roads re-open
     21 Feb: Data shows rebuild progress after quake
     20 Feb: South Island, Taranaki brace for Gita
     20 Feb: KiwiRail earnings up despite Kaikoura woes
     20 Feb: Scientists discover how NZ glowworms shine
     19 Feb: Fidow can wow them: Hurricanes team-mate
     Top Stories

    Fit-again Rodda to play Reds' rugby opener More...

    Kiwi gains against Aussie after weak data More...

     Today's News

    Cape Town's Day Zero pushed back, but authorities say drought threat still real 23:35

    Law and Order:
    Police assess search for man near Bulls 21:55

    Francia Raisa says Selena Gomez feels like her "family" now 21:35

    Law and Order:
    China cracks down on funeral strippers hired to entertain mourners, attract larger crowds 21:25

    Fit-again Rodda to play Reds' rugby opener 21:15

    Liam Payne and Cheryl Tweedy are yet to agree on which football team their son will support 21:05

    Maya Jama isn't "ignorant to the fact" that people only know her because of her relationship with Stormzy 20:35

    Gita hits New Plymouth's water supplies 20:05

    Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston kept their properties separate when they married 20:05

    Kelly Brook proposed to her boyfriend Jeremy Parisi - but he rejected her 19:35

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2018 New Zealand City Ltd