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Foulden Maar, a fossil site near Middlemarch in Otago, New Zealand, formed in a volcanic eruption 23 million years ago. The resulting crater lake filled with diatomite, composed of layers of silica-shelled algae (diatoms) and exceptional fossils of plants, fishes, spiders and insects from the surrounding sub-tropical Miocene forest. As the only known maar of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, it is one of New Zealand's pre-eminent fossil sites. A 2018 proposal to mine Foulden Maar for livestock-food additive has attracted significant public opposition.

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  • Foulden Maar
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  • Foulden Maar, a fossil site near Middlemarch in Otago, New Zealand, formed in a volcanic eruption 23 million years ago. The resulting crater lake filled with diatomite, composed of layers of silica-shelled algae (diatoms) and exceptional fossils of plants, fishes, spiders and insects from the surrounding sub-tropical Miocene forest. As the only known maar of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, it is one of New Zealand's pre-eminent fossil sites. A 2018 proposal to mine Foulden Maar for livestock-food additive has attracted significant public opposition.
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