Ancient New Zealand: Squawkzilla and the Giants
Discover the fossils. Meet the monster birds. Explore New Zealand's tropical past.
The metre-tall parrot Heracles Inexpectatus or Squawkzilla lived in New Zealand around 20 million years ago.
More than 60 million years ago, shortly after the dinosaurs became extinct, giant penguins swam the warm oceans around the ancient subcontinent of Zealandia.
Fast forward 40 million years and Central Otago was submerged beneath a giant lake, 10 times the size of Lake Taupo. Here strange creatures like crocodiles, turtles, burrowing bats and the world’s largest parrot, nicknamed Squawkzilla by scientists, lived in subtropical forest.
Get up close to life-sized models of New Zealand’s lost monsters and learn how scientists are using fossils to uncover this land’s past.