These enigmatic fossils from Waipara were long thought to be fossil barnacle stalks. When John Buckeridge published a detailed study of New Zealand fossil barnacles in 1983, he decided that they were not related to barnacles, and renamed them Waiparaconus – possibly a trace fossil left by an annelid worm or other soft-bodied organism.
There are still arguments about the origin of Waiparaconus – it is one of the few fossils where there is debate about what fossil group (or phylum) it belongs to.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Photograph by John Buckeridge
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.