New zealand – simple english wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gasbuddy app

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New Zealand sits at the boundary between two continental plates. They are the Australian and Pacific plates. When these two plates moved together (‘collided’), one (the Pacific) moved under the other (the Australian) north of the South Island. As a result, there was a great deal of volcanic activity. South of the South Island, the Australian plate moves under the Pacific plate instead. The plates slide past each other in the South Island, where they have pushed up the Southern Alps. Because of these two colliding plates, New Zealand often has earthquakes. One of the best known is the 2010-2011 group of earthquakes that hit the Christchurch area.

The diagram shows that the North Island is on the Australian plate, but most of the South Island is on the Pacific plate. New Zealand is still geologically active, and will remain so as long as the islands are sitting above the plate boundary. [15] [16] [17] Ancient geology [ change | change source ]

The oldest rocks in New Zealand date from the Cambrian period, 512 million years ago. New Zealand became part of the global supercontinent Pangaea. When that split (End- Triassic/early Jurassic), New Zealand became part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana. Finally Gondwana broke up, leaving the continents rather as they are today. New Zealand (like Britain) is a remnant of these great events. Natural history [ change | change source ]

New Zealand was isolated from the rest of the world for a long time. It split from Australia 83 million years ago. Because of this, there are many plants and animals that only live in New Zealand. Before humans came to New Zealand, there were no mammals, except three species of bat and marine mammals such as seals, dolphins, and whales. Instead, New Zealand has many different kinds of bird. New Zealand has several species of flightless bird, including the kiwi. Especially important is the Tuatara, the only living member of a whole order of reptiles.

New Zealand used to have more rare species, but some, mostly birds, were hunted to extinction early in its history. The giant Moa, Dinornis, is a famous example. The group of birds to which the Moa belongs had been in existence since the Cretaceous period. Humans arrived in New Zealand about a thousand years ago, when a large number of moas lived, especially on South Island. Archaeological sites with evidence of Moa hunting are all over New Zealand. The moas became extinct about five hundred years ago. [18] Extinctions closer to today have been caused by habitat change and introduced species like rats and dogs, which can kill the native species. Other information [ change | change source ]

• Many New Zealanders are interested in sports. Their national game is usually considered to be rugby (in winter). They have impressive athletes in rowing, cycling, shotput, discus, iron man, triathlon, yachting, climbing, surfing, cricket, netball, softball, wind surfing, gliding, and more.

• New Zealanders enjoy outdoor pursuits. They have a "clean, green" image as a country. Air and water pollution is still fairly rare, though occasional outbreaks in the past 20 years have caused problems for livestock and the surrounding waters.

• New Zealand, like many other small nations, has a strong local media. New Zealand has a wide variety of musicians, television (and even radio) celebrities, and stand-up comedians. Although most are simply "world-famous in New Zealand", many others have successfully made it on the international scene. Such people and groups include Russell Crowe (actor), Kiri Te Kanawa (singer), the Flight of the Conchords, Crowded House (band), Lee Tamahori (movie director), Peter Jackson (movie director).