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This is exposed in the banks of a small creek which forms the boundary between the properties of Mr. The thickest part of the deposit appearing to lie on Mr.
the past winter a flood occurred in Northern Canterbury which laid bare a deposit of moa bones near Motanau. In the banks of the creek the bone-bed is overlaid by a deposit of gravel, sand, clay, and loam, to a depth of 10 or 12 feet, and has at one time been covered to a much greater depth, as in the immediate vicinity there is evidence that the bones must since their deposition have been covered by at least some 50 or 60 feet of a deposit similar in character to that which at the present time is seen to overlie them. Arkle informed me that for many years past he had noticed bones in the bed of this creek, which he now recognizes to be moa bones; and to this gentleman is due the discovery of the bone-bed, which he observed immediately subsequent to the flood of last winter. Arkle kindly gave me permission to make such excavations as I should deem necessary, for which I take this opportunity of thanking him.
The deep narrow gulches thus formed do not as yet extend across the whole breadth of the flats, but terminate abruptly in a cliff beyond which there is no defined water-course, and as a rule no permanent stream.
North of Boundary Creek, which reaches the sea three miles north of Motanau, the surface of the flats undulates in low rolling downs, and one or two isolated hills stand above the general level.
Just abreast of the little hill the creek breaks the surface of the flat and plunges into the deeper channel, which it cuts through the gravels, and further down its course into the underlying tertiary strata.
species now described formed part of a small collection of fossils from the tertiary beds near Petane, Hawke's Bay, submitted to me for determination by Mr. On the seaward side this is bounded by a line of high cliffs washed by the tide at high water.
Below this for the next 2 to 3 feet, a sandy bed with patches of gravel was encountered, after which a bed of variable composition (quickly changing from sand to plastic clay) overlaid the stratum in which the moa bones occur.
Where exposed the bones form a closely compacted bed, varying from a few inches to 18 or 20 inches in thickness, and within a distance of 40 feet they occur in gravel, sandy clay, plastic clay, and peaty lignite, the progression as stated being from east to west, there being a slight dip of the bone-bed in that direction.
Hector, I was sent to examine and collect from the deposit, and am now permitted to lay before the Society an account of what I saw and did.
Now the alpine range, before the subsidence I am speaking of, undoubtedly stood at a much higher elevation than at present, at least 5,000, more likely 10,000 feet, as the deep fiords on the west side of Fiord County indicate. The metatarsus was lying horizontally in the clay bed, while the toes were sunk in the clay in a vertical position.