Conservation of first Moa footprints underway

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Earlier this year in May a member of the public discovered six rare Moa footprints in a river bed in Central Otago.

Now the process to conserve the South Island’s first-ever Moa footprints has begun.

The prints were perfectly preserved in clay at the bottom of a river, and now the crucial drying out process is underway to conserve the fossils.

Moa evolved in the South Island before moving north, where all fossils have been found up until now.

“These prints are much much older than the footprints found up there; the ages ranging between one and 12 million years old,” Otago Museum assistant curator Kane Fleury said.

The fossils are currently in humidity chambers, with controlled air temperature to prevent the clay from cracking 

They will be on display to the public in a special conservation space at Otago Museum from mid-November.

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