Ancient oyster shells


Several beaches in the Taranaki province of the North Island are famous for fossils. This ancient oyster shell lived between 3.6 and 2.6 million years ago, and was buried in marine sediment that has since been uplifted.


This fossil has been identified as Crassostrea ingens by comparison with an image and description in 'Cenozoic Mollusca of New Zealand' by Beu and Maxwell (1990). Check out this site to download this volume and to learn more about ancient molluscs in New Zealand. 



Research connection

Dr Daniel Thomas from the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, made this model using a structured light 3D scanner (2015). This fossil shell is from sediment that also contains fossil penguin bones. This specimen was found by Daniel when he was looking for fossil penguins.

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