Bridging the Gap
On New Zealand’s Chatham Islands researchers have discovered the country’s oldest known bird fossils. The find represents four new seabirds dating back some 65 million years when New Zealand separated from supercontinent, Gondwana. Excavation leader Jeffrey Stilwell of Monash University in Australia said the discovery has implications for the origin of modern seabirds. “It’s quite spectacular to have that many birds in one deposit,” Stilwell said. “I don’t know of any other site in New Zealand like it.” In particular, he is hoping the new fossils can provide more evidence for land bridges between the Chatham Islands and mainland New Zealand.