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Split from Gondwana

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The land mass that was to become New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwana about 85 million years ago. From around 55 million years ago, the gap between New Zealand and the nearest large land mass, Australia, has been around 2,000 kilometres ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Drift away from Gondwana

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The land mass that was to become New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwana about 85 million years ago. The ancestors of several of New Zealand’s birds – including the New Zealand wren family – may have been on board the drifting land.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Break-up of Gondwana

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The most important factor affecting the evolution of life in New Zealand was its break with the Gondwana supercontinent 85 million years ago. After being isolated, New Zealand was too far away for many plants and animals to reach. The ocean acted as a ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage