In Search of Ancient New Zealand

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9780143206170: In Search of Ancient New Zealand

'In Search of Ancient New Zealand is terrific ...richly and enticingly illustrated, detailed without being overwhelming, intelligent but understandable, always diverting, it deserves to be widely read.' - Warren Judd, New Zealand Geographic New Zealand is one of the most dynamic landscapes in the world. The evidence is everywhere: soaring mountains, fiery volcanoes, grand fiords, brawling rivers and spectacular lakes. Plants and animals known nowhere else in the world have evolved over millions of years in splendid isolation. How did this happen? What processes brought about such momentous transformations? The bestselling In Search of Ancient New Zealand reveals startling new information about this country's natural history: * New Zealand is actually part of the 'lost' continent of Zealandia, a landmass almost half the size of Australia. * Most of New Zealand's plants and animals are not remnants from Gondwanaland 83 million years ago but have arrived much more recently. * Contrary to accepted theory, New Zealand may have been completely submerged under the sea 23 million years ago. If New Zealand was completely under water, where did the unique kiwi, kakapo, kokako and other special animals come from? A number of native land mammals used to dwell in New Zealand, whereas today there are only two species left - both bats. Why did these mammals disappear? Co-written by geologist Dr Hamish Campbell and award-winning author Gerard Hutching, this revised edition updates recent developments in the Zealandia drowning controversy. '[A] significant book ...a valuable introduction to the history of New Zealand.' - Howard Williams, Weekend Press

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Product Description:

New Zealand is one of the most dynamic landscapes in the world. The evidence is everywhere: soaring mountains, fiery volcanoes, grand fiords, brawling rivers and spectacular lakes. Plants and animals known nowhere else in the world have evolved over millions of years in splendid isolation. How did this happen? What processes brought about such momentous transformations? The bestselling In Search of Ancient New Zealand reveals startling new information about this country's natural history: New Zealand is actually part of the 'lost' continent of Zealandia, a landmass almost half the size of Australia; Most of New Zealand's plants and animals are not remnants from Gondwanaland 83 million years ago but have arrived much more recently; Contrary to accepted theory, New Zealand may have been completely submerged under the sea 23 million years ago; If New Zealand was completely under water, where did the unique kiwi, kakapo, kokako and other special animals come from? A number of native land mammals used to dwell in New Zealand, whereas today there are only two species left - both bats. Why did these mammals disappear? Co-written by geologist Dr Hamish Campbell and award-winning author Gerard Hutching, this revised edition updates recent developments in the Zealandia drowning controversy.

About the Author:

Hamish Campbell is a senior scientist with GNS Science. He began his professional career as a paleontologist with the New Zealand Geological Survey in 1978, with specialist interests in Permian, Triassic and Jurassic fossils that are 300-150 million years old. Campbell is best known for his geological research in the Chatham Islands and his role as geologist and science communicator at Te Papa. Campbell grew up in Dunedin and followed in his father's footsteps to become a geologist. He is married with four children and lives in Wellington. Gerard Hutching is a former editor of Forest and Bird magazine. His books include Naturewatch New Zealand, Back from the Brink: the fight to save our endangered birds and the bestselling The Natural World of New Zealand. Hutching writes for the website www.teara.co.nz, and was a contributing writer to the Eyewitness Guide to New Zealand and Real City Rome. He is married with three children and lives in Rome, Italy.

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