St Bathans' Fossilised Fauna

Canterbury Museum Friends Talk

This exhibition is no longer on display at the Museum.

The 19 to 16 million-year-old remains of birds, bats, reptiles, frogs and fish lie buried near St Bathans, Central Otago.

Artists impression of giant burrowing bat

Artist’s impression of a New Zealand burrowing bat, Mystacina robusta, that went extinct in the 1960s. The giant burrowing bat discovered at St Bathans was an ancient relative of burrowing or short-tailed bats.

For the past 17 years, researchers at Canterbury Museum have undertaken annual trips to these fossil sites. The remains uncovered at St Bathans provide the only insight into terrestrial vertebrates living in New Zealand between 65 and 4 million years ago.

In this Canterbury Museum Friends Talk, Senior Curator Natural History Paul Scofield and Research Curator Natural History Vanesa De Pietri will explain how these unique terrestrial fossils are being used to piece together New Zealand’s subtropical past, which once included crocodiles and turtles.

They will provide a summary of the most recent discoveries at St Bathans, including a now-extinct giant burrowing bat that made newspaper headlines earlier this year.

Places at this talk are limited so please register below to attend.


This exhibition is no longer on display at the Museum.
2 October 2018 10.30 am – 11.30 am Event Full
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