Department of Geology


Professor R. Ewan Fordyce

Ewan Fordyce BSc PhD(Cant)
  • vertebrate paleobiology
  • systematics and phylogeny of Cetacea (whales and dolphins)
  • Cretaceous-Cenozoic paleontology & stratigraphy
  • paleoceanography and paleoclimates


Phone: +64 3 479 7510


Contact for

Geol 272/372 (Evolution of the NZ Biota) and Geol 263/363 (Basin Studies); the Geology Museum.


Research Interests (see also fossil research web pages)

  • vertebrate paleobiology (see paleontology section of this website), especially New Zealand-Southwest Pacific
  • systematics and phylogeny of Cetacea (whales and dolphins)
  • Cretaceous-Cenozoic paleontology, stratigraphy, and paleoecology
  • paleoceanography and paleoclimates
  • public understanding of geology, especially paleontology, linked with the Vanished World Trail and Vanished World Centre of North Otago
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGEEwan Fordyce with the 2012 Hutton Medal of the Royal Society of New ZealandEwan Fordyce with the 2012 Hutton Medal of the Royal Society of New Zealand

These interests led to the award of the 2012 Hutton Medal in geology from the Royal Society of New Zealand, for "contributions in New Zealand vertebrate paleontology, particularly for whales, dolphins and penguins".


Are you interested to volunteer in the fossil preparation laboratory? You don't need a particular interest in fossils, but you must be: manually skilled, meticulous, able to follow instructions, able to work closely with others, and able to work for half a day at a time (normally once a week). Email me, Ewan Fordyce, with an expression of interest, and give a little background about yourself.

Current and recent research

Mead & FordyceEvolution and systematics of Cetacea

My main research is on the morphology, taxonomy, systematics, and phylogeny of Cetacea - whales and dolphins, fossil and recent. I work with the group of postgraduate students listed below, and with colleagues overseas.

A major recent study on morphology is: Mead, J.G. and Fordyce, R.E. 2009 - The therian skull: a lexicon with emphasis on the odontocetes. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 627: 1-248. This monograph is an illustrated interpretive technical dictionary of osteological landmarks in the dolphin skull, based on study of modern and fossil species. Dolphins and whales are radically different from terrestrial mammals; their skeletons present many features that, although perplexing in terms of origin and homology, are widely used to interpret relationships, evolution, and lifestyle.  We homologise features of dolphin skulls with those of other mammals, and explain the comparisons. The work should be of interest to cetacean systematists, mammalogists and vertebrate paleontologists.  Mead and I are now compiling information on baleen whales, to complement the 2009 study
Free pdf download of 'The Therian Skull : A Lexicon with Emphasis on the Odontocetes'

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGEdissections of naturally-stranded juvenile pygmy right whales, Caperea marginata, with Anton van Helden of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Dissections of naturally-stranded juvenile pygmy right whales, Caperea marginata, with Anton van Helden of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa

Related activity with living species of cetaceans has included dissections of naturally-stranded juvenile pygmy right whales, Caperea marginata, with Anton van Helden of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa (November 2011 - see photo right). I am working with Felix Marx on a phylogenetic relationships of Caperea, based on morphological cladistics. Most people in the PhD student group have also been involved in work on recently stranded cetaceans, especially Moyna Müller and Carol Loch. In such work, we have strong links with Department of Conservation, Otago Museum, and Department of Marine Sciences at Otago.

Long-term interests involve fossil cetacean studies. For example, I have recently been studying the archaic gulp-feeding balaenopterid whale Mauicetus parki, the putative late-surving archaeocetes encompassing Kekenodon and relatives, shark-toothed dolphins - Squalodontidae, and archaic long-beaked tusked dolphins from Oregon and Baja California Sur, Mexico. These and other projects deal mainly with fossils of Late Oligocene age - from the early explosive radiation of Cetacea. PhD students, below, are involved in these studies. Some of the fossils are shown in the adjacent photos of lab activity.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (381KB)Carol Loch standing next to a case containing whale skullsPhD student Carolina Loch next to a display case that contains skulls of toothed fossil cetaceans from New Zealand; specimens include a kekenodontid archaeocete, squalodontids, and putative archaic platanistoids.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGEPaleontology students examine a Mauicetus specimenPhD student CH Tsai has recently started studies of Mauicetus-like baleen whales from New Zealand Oligocene rocks. Here, some of the PhD students in Fordyce's research programme are in the Geology Museum, looking at one key early Mauicetus specimen from Hakataramea Valley. From left to right: Yoshi Tanaka, Carol Loch, Bobby Boessenecker, Gabriel Aguirre, and CH Tsai. Fossil preparator Sophie White is working at the table behind, with the fossil preparation lab in the background. 


I maintain a field programme to recover fossil cetaceans and other fossil vertebrates from southern New Zealand, especially from rocks around the Waitaki Valley. This usually involves postgraduate students - and provides training in field methods using pneumatic tools (chipping hammers, air scribes, grinders, rock drills), masonry and chainsaws, petrol (gas)-powered rock drill, and plaster jacketing.

Pictures show recent field work:

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (569KB)Felix Marx (left) and Carol Loch (right) finish cleaning a block of muddy limestone containing baleen whale bonesFelix Marx (left) and Carol Loch (right) finish cleaning a block of muddy limestone containing baleen whale bones, before starting to encase the block in a plaster jacket (August 2010). The specimen has now been prepared out fully; it is a species of Mauicetus from close to the Oligocene/Miocene boundary.


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE Two guys standing beside two holes in a cliff.Dan Ksepka (right) and Paul Brinkman (left), excavating a large Late Oligocene penguin from Kokoamu Greensand, Waihao Valley, December 2011. Ksepka and Brinkman (both from North Carolina State University) visited Otago for collaborative work on fossil penguins.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE Paleontologists stand around and taking photos of a concretion partly potruding form a mudstone layer.Site of an Early Miocene baleen whale, Otaio River, January 2012. From left to right: Philip Howe (S Canterbury Museum), Julie Brown (Ngai Tahu Rock Art Project), Nichole Moerhuis and Felix Marx (Department of Geology, University of Otago); Felix is close to the whale, with a limb element and part of the left mandible visible just below him. The fossil was found by Robert White and family, and was collected with help from Dr William Rolleston. The fossil is now at University of Otago where it is under preparation.

Evolution and systematics of penguins

Rocks in southern New Zealand have produced important fossil penguins, including many specimens found during field work on fossil cetaceans and now held in the Geology Museum at University of Otago. These have been studied by past postgraduate students: Craig Jones (MSc), Tatsuro Ando (PhD) and Daniel Thomas (PhD). Of note are stem-penguins in the genus Waimanu, and the recently-named Kaiika [literally, food-fish, alluding to penguin diet], studied with former PhD student Daniel Thomas. In 2012, Dan Ksepka, Tatsuro Ando, Craig Jones and I named and described a new genus, Kairuku [diver that returns with food], for 2 of the “giant” Late Oligocene Palaeeudyptes-like penguins in our article “New fossil penguins (Aves, Sphenisciformes) from the Oligocene of New Zealand reveal the skeletal plan of stem penguins” which appeared in Journal of vertebrate paleontology 32:235-254. Most recently, Dan Ksepka and I wrote a popular article on penguins in Scientific American for November 2012. See also the separate web pages on penguins.

New Zealand marine vertebrates

Beyond cetaceans and penguins, covered above, New Zealand has an important record of other marine vertebrates. The Geology Museum at University of Otago holds specimens of plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, sea turtles, bony fish, and chondrichthyans. Articles of note in recent years include those of Gottfried et al. (2006 and 2012) on the teleosts Megalampris and Aglyptorhynchus, Gottfried & Fordyce on the extinct white shark Carcharodon angustidens, and Cruickshank & Fordyce on the enigmatic “Shagosaurus” plesiosaur from North Otago – formally known as Kaiwhekea. Other web pages review some of these New Zealand records. For summary accounts of New Zealand’s marine vertebrates, see the articles by Fordyce (1991) and King et al. (2009) – the latter partly updating the earlier Fordyce summary.

Research Visitors

Visiting researchers have brought important expertise to help interpret material from the Geology Museum collections. Some recent visitors include: Mike Gottfried (Michigan State University, MI, USA), Tatsuro Ando (Ashoro Museum, Japan), Hiroto Ichishima (Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Japan), Dan Ksepka and Paul Brinkman (NC State University, NC, USA), Tom Baumiller (U Michigan, MI, USA), Gerardo Gonzalez Barba (Univ. Autonoma Baja California Sur, Mexico),  Nick Pyenson (formerly UC Berkeley and now Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution, USA), and Ignacio Moreno (Grupo de Estudos de Mamíferos Aquáticos do Rio Grande do Sul – GEMARS, Brazil).

Postgraduate Student Supervision

Are you an international student interested in postgraduate study with the Otago cetacean systematics/ fossil vertebrates group? If so, check the web information for International Students to see if you are eligible. International students will need a PhD scholarship to fund their study; applications for Otago scholarships, which are competitive awards, close at any time, and are usually applied for at the same time as the application for admission. There are few scholarships for MSc study, and these are highly competitive. If you are eligible to study here, and have first class grades that are likely to win you a scholarship, then please contact me.

Current and recent students

  • Robert "Bobby" Boessenecker - New Zealand archaic baleen whales in the family Eomysticetidae (PhD, in progress)
  • Joshua Corrie – Systematics and functional morphology of Kekenodon-like archaic whales from New Zealand (PhD, in progress)
  • Simone Hicks - Ecological and sedimentological evolution of the volcanically active Eo/Oligocene continental shelf, east Otago (PhD, in progress)
  • Moyna Müller – Structure and evolution of dolphin flippers (PhD, in progress) (Jointly with Department of Marine Sciences)
  • Yoshihiro Tanaka - Morphology and systematics of squalodelphinid and related platanistoid dolphins from New Zealand (PhD, in progress)
  • Cheng-Hsiu Tsai (Tsai) -  Systematics and functional morphology in early Mauicetus-like baleen whales (PhD, in progress)


  • Gabriel Aguirre - Neogene dolphins from New Zealand - Kentriodontidae (PhD, completed). Gabriel is now in Europe, writing up PhD results and pursuing postdoctoral opportunities. A major part of his PhD thesis on a new stem odontocete is in press in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
  • Kristina Arthur - Lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, isotopic patterns, and Middle Miocene climate change in the Bryce Burn section (MSc, completed). Kristina is now pursuing PhD studies in The Netherlands.
  • Carolina Loch Silva - Comparative study of modern and fossil cetacean dentitions (Cetacea: Delphinoidea and Platanistoidea) (PhD, completed). Carolina is doing postdoctoral research on tooth structure and function, in the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago.
  • Felix Marx - Evolution of structural disparity in the Cetacea (PhD, completed). Felix has been working at Otago Museum, has been writing up studies on systematics and morphology of Mysticeti and is now a postdoctoral researcher, working on fossil Cetacea at National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Japan.
  • Megan Ortega - Systematics and geological setting of fossil whales and dolphins from Gee Greensand and Mount Harris Formation, Awamoa Beach, North Otago (MSc, completed). Megan is now working in the oil industry in Texas.
  • Daniel Thomas - Evolution of thermal physiology in penguins: fossils, modern penguins, anatomy, and geochemistry (PhD, completed) (jointly with Department of Chemistry). Daniel recently completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at University of Cape Town, and is now completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Outreach - for the public

Selected Recent Publications

most of which are available as pdfs on request

  • Ando, T., and R. E. Fordyce. In press. Evolutionary drivers for flightless, wing-propelled divers in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.08.002
  • Butti, C., R. Ewan fordyce, M. Ann Raghanti, X. Gu, C. J. Bonar, B. A. Wicinski, E. W. Wong, J. Roman, A. Brake, E. Eaves, M. A. Spocter, C. Y. Tang, B. Jacobs, C. C. Sherwood, and P. R. Hof. 2014. The cerebral cortex of the Pygmy Hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon liberiensis (Cetartiodactyla, Hippopotamidae): MRI, cytoarchitecture, and neuronal morphology. The Anatomical Record: doi:10.1002/ar.22875
  • Tsai, C.-H., and R. E. Fordyce. 2014. Disparate heterochronic processes in baleen whale evolution. Evolutionary Biology: doi 10.1007/s11692-014-9269-4
  • Aguirre-Fernández, G., and R. E. Fordyce. 2014. Papahu taitapu, gen. et sp. nov., an early Miocene stem odontocete (Cetacea) from New Zealand. Journal of vertebrate paleontology 34:195-210. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.799069
  • Loch, C., M. V. Swain, S. J. Fraser, K. C. Gordon, J. A. Kieser, and R. E. Fordyce. 2014. Elemental and chemical characterization of dolphin enamel and dentine using X-ray and Raman microanalyzes (Cetacea: Delphinoidea and Inioidea). Journal of Structural Biology 185:58-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2013.11.006
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2013. Cetacea (Whales, Porpoises and Dolphins). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001574.pub2]
  • Tsai, C.-H., R. E. Fordyce, C.-H. Chang, and L.-K. Lin. 2013. A review and status of fossil cetacean research in Taiwan. Taiwan journal of biodiversity 15:113-124.
  • Scott, J. M., D. E. Lee, R. E. Fordyce, and J. M. Palin. 2013. A possible Late Oligocene–Early Miocene rocky shoreline on Otago Schist. New Zealand journal of geology and geophysics doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.814575
  • Loch, C., M. V. Swain, L. J. van Vuuren, J. A. Kieser, and R. E. Fordyce. 2013. Mechanical properties of dental tissues in dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinoidea and Inioidea). Archives of oral biology 58:773-779. doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.12.003
  • Loch, C., L. J. Grando, D. R. Schwass, J. A. Kieser, R. E. Fordyce, and P. C. Simoes-Lopes. 2013. Dental erosion in South Atlantic dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae): A macro and microscopic approach. Marine Mammal Science 29:338-347 doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00562.x
  • Marx, F., M. Buono, R. E. Fordyce, and R. W. Boessenecker. 2013. Juvenile morphology: A clue to the origins of the most mysterious of mysticetes? Naturwissenschaften: doi:10.1007/s00114-013-1012-y
  • Thomas, D. B., R. E. Fordyce, and K. C. Gordon. 2013. Evidence for a krill-rich diet from non-destructive analyses of penguin bone. Journal of Avian Biology: doi:10.1111/j.1600-048X.2012.00095.x
  • Fordyce, R. E., and F. G. Marx. 2013. The pygmy right whale Caperea marginata: the last of the cetotheres. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 280: doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2645. [December 19, 2012]
  • Loch, C., W. Duncan, P. C. Simões-Lopes, J. A. Kieser, and R. E. Fordyce. 2012. Ultrastructure of enamel and dentine in extant dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinoidea and Inioidea). Zoomorphology 131 doi:10.1007/s00435-012-0180-1
  • Fordyce, R. E., and D. T. Ksepka. 2012. The strangest bird. Scientific American 307:56-61 doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1112-56
  • Clementz, M. T., R. E. Fordyce, S. L. Peek, and D. L. Fox. 2012. Ancient Marine Isoscapes and Isotopic Evidence of Bulk-feeding by Oligocene Cetaceans. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.09.009
  • Fukuda, K., D. B. Thomas, R. D. Frew, and R. E. Fordyce. 2012. Antarctic glaciation recorded in Early Miocene New Zealand foraminifera. Marine micropaleontology 92-93:52-60. doi:10.1016/j.marmicro.2012.05.002
  • Ksepka, D. T., R. E. Fordyce, T. Ando, and C. M. Jones. 2012. New fossil penguins (Aves, Sphenisciformes) from the Oligocene of New Zealand reveal the skeletal plan of stem penguins. Journal of vertebrate paleontology 32:235-254. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.652051
  • Gottfried, M. D., R. E. Fordyce, and S. Rust. 2012. A new billfish (Perciformes: Xiphioidei) from the Late Oligocene of New Zealand. Journal of vertebrate paleontology 32:27-34. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.634471
  • Thomas, D. B., and R. E. Fordyce. 2011. Biological plasticity in penguin heat retention. The Anatomical Record: doi:10.1002/ar.21538
  • Thomas, D.B., McGoverin, C.M., Fordyce, R.E., Frew, R.D., Gordon, K.C., 2011. Raman spectroscopy of fossil bioapatite - a proxy for diagenetic alteration of the oxygen isotope composition. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 310:62-70 doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.06.016.
  • Thomas, D.B., Ksepka, D.T., Fordyce, R.E., 2011. Penguin heat-retention structures evolved in a greenhouse Earth. Biology Letters 7, 461-464. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0993
  • Fordyce, R.E., Thomas, D.B., 2011. Kaiika maxwelli, a new Early Eocene archaic penguin (Sphenisciformes, Aves) from Waihao Valley, South Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand journal of geology and geophysics 54, 43-51. doi:10.1080/00288306.2011.536521
  • Fordyce, R.E., 2010. Darwin’s legacy and New Zealand fossils, in: Galloway, D. (Ed.), Aspects of Darwin: a New Zealand celebration. Friends of Knox College Library, Dunedin, pp. 65-84.
  • Mead, J. G., and R. E. Fordyce. 2009. The therian skull: a lexicon with emphasis on the odontocetes. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 627:1-248.
  • Steeman, M. E., M. B. Hebsgaard, R. E. Fordyce, S. Y. W. Ho, D. L. Rabosky, R. Nielsen, C. Rahbek, H. Glenner, M. V. Sorensen, and E. Willerslev. 2009. Radiation of Extant Cetaceans Driven by Restructuring of the Oceans. Systematic Biology 58:573-585 doi:10.1093/sysbio/syp060
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2009. Cetacean evolution; pp. 201-207 in W. F. Perrin, J. G. M. Thewissen, and B. Würsig (eds.), Encyclopedia of marine mammals. Elsevier, San Diego.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2009. Cetacean fossil record; pp. 207-215 in W. F. Perrin, J. G. M. Thewissen, and B. Würsig (eds.), Encyclopedia of marine mammals. Elsevier, San Diego.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2009. Fossil sites; pp. 459-466 in W. F. Perrin, J. G. M. Thewissen, and B. Würsig (eds.), Encyclopedia of marine mammals. Elsevier, San Diego.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2009. Neoceti; pp. 758-763 in W. F. Perrin, J. G. M. Thewissen, and B. Würsig (eds.), Encyclopedia of marine mammals. Elsevier, San Diego.
  • Fordyce, R. E., D. E. Lee, and G. S. Wilson. 2009. Field trip 3: Cretaceous-Paleogene stratigraphy of the Canterbury Basin. Climatic and Biotic Events of the Paleogene Conference Field Trip Guides, 6-21 January 2009, Te Papa, Wellington, New Zealand. GNS Science Miscellaneous Series 17:92-129. pdf
  • King, C. M., C. D. Roberts, B. D. Bell, R. E. Fordyce, R. S. Nicoll, T. H. Worthy, C. D. Paulin, R. A. Hitchmough, I. W. Keyes, A. N. Baker, A. L. Stewart, N. Hiller, R. M. McDowall, R. N. Holdaway, R. P. McPhee, W. W. Schwarzhans, A. J. D. Tennyson, S. Rust, and I. Macadie. 2009. Phylum Chordata.  Lancelets, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; pp. 433-553 in D. P. Gordon (ed.), The New Zealand Inventory of Biodiversity: A Species 2000 Symposium Review. University of Canterbury Press, Christchurch. [includes fossil reptiles, modern and fossil marine mammals]
  • Uhen, M. D., R. E. Fordyce, and L. G. Barnes. 2008. Mysticeti; pp. 607-628 in C. M. Janis, G. F. Gunnell, and M. D. Uhen (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary mammals of North America, 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Uhen, M. D., R. E. Fordyce, and L. G. Barnes. 2008. Odontoceti; pp. 566-606 in C. M. Janis, G. R. Gunnell, and M. D. Uhen (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary mammals of North America, 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Marino, L., R. C. Connor, R. E. Fordyce, L. M. Herman, P. R. Hof, L. Lefebvre, D. Lusseau, B. McCowan, E. A. Nimchinsky, A. A. Pack, L. Rendell, J. S. Reidenberg, D. Reiss, M. D. Uhen, E. Van Der Gucht, and H. Whitehead. 2008. A claim in search of evidence: Reply to Manger’s thermogenesis hypothesis of cetacean brain structure. Biological Reviews, Cambridge Philosophical Society 83:417-440.
  • Graham, I. J., R. L. Brathwaite, L. Carter, R. M. Carter, J. W. Cole, M. J. Crozier, A. F. Cooper, R. A. Cooper, R. E. Fordyce, M. R. Johnston, M. J. Isaac, P. R. King, N. Mortimer, and D. N. B. Skinner eds. 2008. A continent on the move: New Zealand geoscience into the 21st century. Geological Society of New Zealand, Wellington, NZ ix, 377 pp.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2008. Unveiling the past. Vertebrate fossils; pp. 127-137 in S. Nathan and M. Varnham (eds.), The amazing world of James Hector. Awa Press, Wellington.   
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2008. Fossil mammals; pp. 415-428 in M. J. Winterbourn, Knox, G.A., Burrows, C.J., Marsden, I. (ed.), Natural history of Canterbury. University of Canterbury Press, Christchurch.
  • Thomas, D. B. and Fordyce, R. E.  2007.  The heterothermic loophole exploited by penguins.  Australian Journal of Zoology 55: 317-321.
  • Thomas, D. B., Fordyce, R. E., Frew, R. D., and Gordon, K. C.  2007.  A rapid, non-destructive method of detecting diagenetic alteration in fossil bone using Raman spectroscopy.  Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 38: 1533-1537.
  • Ichishima, H. and Fordyce, R. E.  2007.  Kujira ga riku o aruite ita koro: kyoryu zetsumetsugo no oja [When the whales roamed on land].  Special Exhibitions Volume. Fukui Kenritsu Kyoryo Hakubutsukan, Katsuyama.  87 p.
  • Marino, L., Connor, R. C., Fordyce, R. E., Herman, L. M., Hof, P. R., Lefebvre, L., Lusseau, D., Mccowan, B., Nimchinsky, E. A., Pack, A. A., Rendell, L., Reidenberg, J. S., Reiss, D., Uhen, M. D., Van Der Gucht, E., and Whitehead, H.  2007. Cetaceans have complex brains for complex cognition.  PLoS Biology 5 (5): 966-972. 
  • Fordyce, R. E.  2006.  A southern perspective on cetacean evolution and zoogeography.  Pages 755-778 in Merrick, J. R. Archer M. Hickey G. and Lee M. S. Y. (eds), Evolution and biogeography of Australasian vertebrates.  AusSciPub [Australian Scientific Publishing], Sydney.  942 p.
  • Gottfried, M. D., Fordyce, R. E., and Rust, S.  2006.  Megalampris keyesi, a giant moonfish (Teleostei, Lampridiformes) from the late Oligocene of New Zealand.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26 (3): 544-551.
  • Slack, K. E., Jones, C. M., Ando, T., Harrison, G. L., Fordyce, R. E., Arnason, U., and Penny, D.  2006.  Early penguin fossils, plus mitochondrial genomes, calibrate avian evolution.  Molecular Biology and Evolution 23 (6): 1144-1155. [on new species of Waimanu basal penguins]
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2006. New light on New Zealand Mesozoic reptiles. Geological Society of New Zealand newsletter 140:6-15.
  • Sasaki, T., Nikaido, M., Hamilton, H., Goto, M., Kato, H., Kanda, N., Pastene, L. A., Cao, Y., Fordyce, R. E., Hasegawa, M., and Okada, N.  2005.  Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales.  Systematic biology 54 (1): 77-90.
  • Darby, J. T., Fordyce, R. E., Mark, A. F., Probert, P. K., and Townsend, C. (editors). 2003. The natural history of southern New Zealand. University of Otago Press, Dunedin. 387 p.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2003. Fossils and the history of life. Pages 35-64 in Darby, J. T., Fordyce, R. E., Mark, A. F., Probert, P. K., and Townsend, C. (editors), The natural history of southern New Zealand. University of Otago Press, Dunedin. 387 p.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2003. Cetacea evolution and Eocene-Oligocene oceans revisited. Pages 154-170 in Prothero, D. R., Ivany, L. C., and Nesbitt, E. A. From greenhouse to icehouse. The marine Eocene-Oligocene transition. Columbia University Press, New York. 376 p.
  • Cruickshank, A. R. I. and Fordyce, R. E. 2002. A new marine reptile (Sauropterygia) from New Zealand: Further evidence for a Late Cretaceous austral radiation of cryptoclidid plesiosaurs. Paleontology 45 (3): 557-575.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2002. Simocetus rayi (Odontoceti:Simocetidae) (new species, new genus, new family), a bizarre archaic Oligocene dolphin from the eastern North Pacific. Smithsonian contributions to paleobiology 93: 185-222.
    Pdf (16 Mb)
    Symposium volume
    Simocetus
  • Fordyce, R. E., Quilty, P. G., and Daniels, J. 2002. Australodelphis mirus, a bizarre new toothless ziphiid-like fossil dolphin (Cetacea: Delphinidae) from the Pliocene of Vestfold Hills, east Antarctica. Antarctic Science 14 (1): 37-54.
  • Cruickshank, A. R. I., and R. E. Fordyce. 2002. A new marine reptile (Sauropterygia) from New Zealand: Further evidence for a Late Cretaceous austral radiation of cryptoclidid plesiosaurs. Palaeontology 45:557-575.
  • Nikaido, M., Matsuno, F., Hamilton, H., Brownell, R. L., Cao, Y., Ding, W., Zuoyan, Z., Shedlock, A. M., Fordyce, R. E., Hasegawa, M., and Okada, N. 2001. Retroposon analysis of major cetacean lineages:  the monophyly of toothed whales and the paraphyly of river dolphins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 (13): 7384-7389.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 2001. Brian John Marples, BA MA, MSc, FRSNZ, FAZ, 1907-1997. Yearbook of the Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand 2000: 72-79.
  • Gottfried, M. D. and Fordyce, R. E. 2001. An associated specimen of Carcharodon angustidens (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae) from the Late Oligocene of New Zealand, with comments on lamnid interrelationships. Journal of vertebrate paleontology 21 (4): 730-739.
  • Fordyce, R. E. and Muizon, C. de. 2001. Evolutionary history of whales: a review. Pages 169-234 in Mazin, J.-M. and Buffrenil, V. de (editors), Secondary adaptation of tetrapods to life in water. Proceedings of the international meeting, Poitiers, 1996. Verlag Dr Friedriech Pfeil, München. 367p.
  • Fordyce, R. E. 1994. Waipatia maerewhenua, new genus and new species (Waipatiidae, new family), an archaic Late Oligocene dolphin (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Platanistoidea) from New Zealand; pp. 147-176 in A. Berta and T. Deméré (eds.), Contributions in marine mammal paleontology honoring Frank C. Whitmore, Jr. Proceedings of the San Diego Society of Natural History 29.
    Waipatia

  • Fordyce, R. E. 1991. A new look at the fossil vertebrate record of New Zealand.; pp. 1191-1316 in P. V. Rich, J. M. Monaghan, R. F. Baird, and T. H. Rich (eds.), Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia. Pioneer Design Studio and Monash University, Melbourne.

Also See Publications

^ Top of page



200 Level

300 Level

400 Level