Unfortunately, the short answer is that we know very little about the origin of these little seabirds that are now perhaps the most abundant birds in the southern oceans. Prions are a form of petrel – also called ‘tubenoses’ or ‘Procellariiformes’ – a group which includes the albatrosses, fulmars, shearwaters,
By Alan Tennyson, Curator of Vertebrates I was invited by Chris Gaskin (Forest & Bird) and Matt Rayner (Auckland University) to join a party in February 2013 on the Mokohinau Islands to hunt for the nesting grounds of the recently rediscovered New Zealand storm petrel (Fregetta maoriana). This island group
The Poor Knights Islands, northeast of Whangarei, are perhaps best known as a world-class diving location, but the life on land is no less astonishing and it really comes alive at night. In December 2011, I assisted seabird expert Graeme Taylor with his work on the migration of Buller’s Shearwaters.
By Chris Paulin and Alan Tennyson Recently, a group of researchers in New Zealand suggested that the absence of fossils between 25 and 22 million years ago indicated that the islands completely disappeared under water, and then later re-emerged. But a newly discovered fossil reptile suggests this theory does not