Or at least at that point in deep time, some 60 to 80 million years ago (MYA), when what we now know as
The science of plate tectonics suggests that the supercontinent of Gondwana formed around 170 million years ago and began splitting apart about 130 MYA as shown in the stylized map below. It was the southeastern region of Gondwana (diagonal lines) that acted as the platform for the evolution of life that would populate Australia & New Zealand.
Between 80 and 60 MYA, what would eventually become
from Gibbs, The Ghosts of Gondwana, 2006.
Isolated from the rest of the world’s land masses, life in New Zealand took its own distinctive path, leading scientists such as Jared Diamond to assert that “New Zealand is as close as we will get to the opportunity to study life on another planet” and Tim Flannery to call it “a completely different experiment in evolution from the rest of the world”.
Was this Moa’s