Waikato Times: Ancient history and the age when dinosaurs roamed

David Riddell writes in the Waikato Times about a recent talk by Professor Cam Nelson about New Zealand’s geological history – from its beginnings attached to Gondwanaland, to its current position.

The talk, intended to set the geological scene, is the first in a series which will be focused on New Zealand’s dinosaurs.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Our oldest rocks, in northwest Nelson, are a little over 500 million years old, he says.

“From then until 83 million years ago the rocks that form the basement geology for all New Zealand – dominated by greywacke sandstones – were laid down.

“”Then the New Zealand subcontinent, named Zealandia, started to rift away from the eastern edge of Gondwanaland. Overall this was a fairly quiet period, with few major upheavals, and the marine reptiles and dinosaurs that were living here were surviving happily until the infamous meteorite impact 65 million years ago.””