New Zealand Fossil Record File


Established in 1946 by the NZ Geological Survey the New Zealand Fossil Record File (FRF) is a database of fossil localities primarily in New Zealand.

A standard format was adopted for recording the details of fossil localities on paper forms, although it has since been moved to an online platform known as the Fossil Record Electronic Database, or “FRED”


The data are jointly managed by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand and GNS Science. The FRF is designated a database of national significance by the New Zealand government. Nationally Significant collections and databases are separately funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment(external link)

The FRF includes:

  • locality data
  • collection details
  • stratigraphic position
  • lithological data (descriptions of the rocks the fossils come from)
  • fossil identifications
  • paleontological opinion on geological age and paleoenvironment


As well as the New Zealand mainland, fossil localities recorded in the file include sub-ocean floor sites (including many petroleum drill-holes from offshore Taranaki and elsewhere), New Zealand’s offshore islands, Subantarctic Islands, the Ross Sea region of Antarctica, and some Pacific islands, notably New Caledonia.

New locality records and paleontological interpretations are regularly added to the database. Data in the FRF can be used by researchers, students, geoscience educators and amateur paleontologists.

Some samples collected from FRF localities are stored in the National Paleontological Collection (NPC) at GNS Science. Researchers may access these samples either through an on-site visit or by requesting a loan.

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