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.
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Photograph by John Buckeridge
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