Many biologists reject the idea and insist that our native terrestrial fauna can be explained only by the continuous existence of land. But many geologists are now asserting that there is no longer any convincing geological evidence that the New Zealand section of Zealandia remained above the sea’s surface. But if Zealandia did sink completely beneath the waves 23 million years ago – where did our distinctive ancient flora and fauna such as the tuatara and our tree ferns come from?
This BWB Text is a provocative treatment of the ‘Drowning Zealandia’ scientific controversy by geologist Hamish Campbell.
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. He is best known for his geological research in the Chatham Islands and for his role as geologist and science communicator at Te Papa. He is the author with Gerard Hutching of In Search of Ancient New Zealand (Penguin, 2007, 2011) and the editor with Geoff Hicks of Awesome Forces: The Natural Hazards that Threaten New Zealand (Te Papa Press, 1998, 2012).
Most people share an enthusiasm for beautiful and breathtaking scenery, explored variously through the physical challenge of climbing to the top of the tallest mountains or the joy of viewing the work of a painter; but while easy to admire from a distance, such landscapes are usually difficult to explain in words. Harnessing recent developments in computer technology, the latest New Naturalist volume uses the most up-to-date and accurate maps, diagrams and photographs to analyse the diverse landscapes of Southern England.
Peter Friend highlights the many famous and much loved natural landscapes of the southern half of England, ranging from the Chalk Downs to the bays of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, and provides detailed explanations for the wide variety of natural events and processes that have caused such an exciting range of surroundings.
Setting apart the topography that has resulted from natural rather than man-made occurrences, Friend focuses on each region individually, from East Anglia to London and the Thames Valley, and explains the history and development of their land structures through detailed descriptions and colourful diagrams.