Finding Fossils…

2 July 2015

Matheson's Bay Luna looking for fossils

Seeing as Luna and Blake are really keen on geology, archaeology and fossils, I have been looking for opportunities for them to have hands on experience exploring and making discoveries of their own. Auckland is rich in geological delights, the city is built on a volcanic field, so one only needs to look around, or even climb up one of the volcanic cones across Auckland and examine the view to start to see the dramatic events that have shaped this region.

Given all that volcanic activity, finding locations rich in fossils has been a bit more challenging. So far, our closest source of marine fossils to find is the seabed that is exposed in the rocks at Matheson’s Bay. We have been here before, and walked the northern end of the beach at low tide, and made some cool discoveries, and had a lovely time at the beach.

Matheson's Bay kids on rocks

This visit we went south, and found the remains of that seabed!

Matheson's Bay fossil molluscs04

Scouring the rocks for anything unusual…like this sort of thing:

Matheson's Bay rock creamy formation

Matheson's Bay rock formation conglomerate

Cool huh, lots to see and wonder about.

Matheson's Bay rock formation, two coming together

Here’s some of that seabed…

Matheson's Bay fossil molluscs02

Matheson's Bay fossil molluscs05

Matheson's Bay fossil molluscs03

We moved beyond fossils = dinosaurs a while back, with lots of reading, exploring and watching docos with David Attenborough, so Luna and Blake seem to get that there is a lot more to rocks and fossils, and while Luna really wants to find a dinosaur, she is delighted with finding ancient seashells.

Matheson's Bay Luna noticed the layers

Going back through the ages…Luna was impressed by the layers we could see in the rockface. Such a great adventure, and such a pleasure to see Luna’s imagination run free with the idea of going back in time and finding remains of ancient animals from another world.

We also investigated the rockpools, and found a sea cucumber!

Matheson's Bay Blake sea cucumber

This strange little dude was just amazing to observe, and when we were confident and careful, we found he felt like a cross between rubber and leather.

Matheson's Bay sea cucumber

We also made the requisite dam, experimenting to see how the ripples in the water changed as we narrowed or widened the course of the water.

Matheson's Bay dam

The changes were quite dramatic.

Matheson's Bay water and the dam

All up, a great destination for a beach visit, and of course great to be able to discover fossils in the rocks, we’ll be back!

Matheson's Bay cloudy sky

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