Tweet this page Like this page Email this page Share this page Home» Our Science » Plants, animals & fungi » Ecology & Ecosystems » Prehistoric settlement » Megaherbivores » Fieldwork Fieldwork Camping on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Mt Nicholas Station. The cave on Mt Nicholas Station where in the 1870s Taylor White discovered the first moa coprolites. The sediment has been thoroughly burrowed by rabbits since. ‘Possum’s rockshelter’, situated near the Mt Nicholas cave, was one of the excavation sites this year. View from Possum’s rockshelter, looking towards the Dart and Rees valleys at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Jamie removing the modern surface sediments from the area to be excavated. The first moa coprolites encountered during the excavation in Possum’s rockshelter. Moa coprolites, Possum’s rockshelter Moa coprolites resting on a large rock, Possum’s rockshelter. Moa coprolites, Possum’s rockshelter. Moa coprolites, Possum’s rockshelter. Plan view of excavation pit, Possum’s rockshelter. Shearers' quarters accommodation, Mt. Nicholas Station. One of several small caves situated on Mt Nicholas Station. Stalactites, unusual in schist rock, at the entrance to a small cave, Mt Nicholas Station. Janet makes notes about a cavity containing bones of small birds, the probable nesting site of an extinct laughing owl, Mt Nicholas Station. Janet descending ancient rockfall debris to coring site near Borland Saddle, Fiordland. Small wetland near coring site at Borland Saddle, Fiordland. View of Green Lake landslide deposit near Borland Saddle, Fiordland. View of Green Lake landslide deposit near Borland Saddle, Fiordland. Our coring site was situated near the small lake in the right foreground. The boat that took us to our fieldsites on Lake Hauroko, Fiordland. Rock bluffs near Mary Island, Lake Hauroko, where we looked for dry rockshelters that might contain moa coprolites. Jamie, Janet, and archaeologist James Robinson, having a cup of tea at the Lake Hauroko basecamp. Morning sunrise at Lake Hauroko. Limestone bluffs at Castlerock, Southland. We surveyed this area for dry rockshelters. Large limestone slab at Castlerock, Southland. We found small coprolites and eggshell (possibly from the extinct Finsch’s duck) issuing forth from beneath the slab. Dry cave beneath the large limestone slab, Castlerocks, Southland. It is likely that whatever had produced the coprolites found at the base of the slab had nested in here sometime in the past. Janet and Alan preparing the forest soil coring site near Tautuku, Catlins Forest Park. Janet with the large Russian D-corer used to sample the forest soil stratigraphy. Pushing the corer through the soil takes a lot of effort! Soil core from near Tautuku, Catlins Forest Park. Soil monolith collected from forested sand dunes near Tahakopa Beach, Catlins Forest Park. Examining a rockshelter for potential coprolite-preserving conditions, Central Otago. Roxburgh Gorge, south of Alexandra, a place where several rockshelter sites containing moa coprolites are known. Shade to escape the heat of a summer afternoon in Central Otago. Jamie carefully unveiling prehuman sediments in a Roxburgh Gorge rockshelter, Central Otago. What the floor of this rockshelter looked like about 2000 years ago. Short twigs, many apparently clipped by moa beaks, are intermingled with small coprolites. Moa feathers from rockshelter in Roxburgh Gorge, Central Otago. Moa feather from rockshelter in Roxburgh Gorge, Central Otago.