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Sample text

Thefusca-group, represented by foliage and fossil leaves 44· pollen recognisable as related to P. ferrugineus (sect. Stachycarpus, see Fig. 5) first appears at this time; it probably does not indicate an immigrant but rather evolution from within the large assemblage of podocarps present since the Cretaceous. Two notable Upper Miocene plant fossil localities (at Great Barrier Island and at Kaikorai, Dunedin) have yielded identifications by OLIVER of leaves mostly confirming spore and pollen evidence of the Miocene flora.

The gastropod Lamprodomina, a member of the Indo-Pacific subfamily Olivinae, is common to New Zealand and Chile in the Upper Miocene-Pliocene and is perhaps a genus of tropical origins that achieved a partially Austral distribution using the West Wind Drift, like the plants Coriaria and Aristotelia earlier in the Miocene. Some mollusc incomers are southern or endemic forms which had perhaps begun to move north to New Zealand latitudes as climate cooled: Cratis, Buccinulum, and Aeneator. TERRESTRIAL VEGETATION The forests continued to be brassi-beech forests, with fusca-beech, podocarps and ferns becoming rare towards the end of the Middle Miocene but recovering in relative abundance in the Upper Miocene.

By late Cretaceous time marine conditions had extended south along the east coast of the South Island and began to spread west of the South Island before the Maastrichtian; a west coast for the New Zealand land was thus delineated, implying for the first time the presence of a Tasman Sea. 'ooom RELATION Of CRETACEOUS BASINS TO UPl'E R JURASSIC IN SY CLINES A D TO MODERN DE EP . SE A BASINS LOWER CRETACEOUS BASINS SY NCLINH W ITH UPPE R J URASSIC j I = ' ,6 UMIT OF MAA STR IC HTI .. N , TR.. TER BEDS LL~~~=---Fig.

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