Ancient New Zealand: Squawkzilla and the Giants

Canterbury Museum

Canterbury Museum is closed until further notice, due to Covid-19. Please check our website for updates and details.

Discover the fossils. Meet the monster birds. Explore New Zealand's tropical past.

More than 60 million years ago, shortly after the dinosaurs became extinct, giant penguins swam the warm oceans around the ancient subcontinent of Zealandia.

Fast forward 40 million years and Central Otago was submerged beneath a giant lake, 10 times the size of Lake Taupo. Here strange creatures like crocodiles, turtles, burrowing bats and the world’s largest parrot, nicknamed Squawkzilla by scientists, lived in subtropical forest.

At Squawkzilla and the Giants you can get up close to life-sized models of New Zealand’s lost monsters and learn how scientists are using fossils to uncover this land’s past.

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Privacy Statement: The Christchurch Arts Audience Development Trust will ensure that all data gathered on this website will be used in accordance with the New Zealand Privacy Act and as such all data will be kept secure and only used for the purpose for which it was gathered. From time to time we may contact you about offers and competitions and to invite your feedback.