Day 210 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Blue Beach, Nova Scotia

Fossils at Blue Beach

The rocks exposed at Blue Beach contain many fossils. In fact, there are so many fossils that it is almost impossible to put your foot down without stepping on a record of ancient, past life. The fossils at Blue Beach-Horton Bluff can be divided into four groups: three groups of body fossils (plants, invertebrates, vertebrates); and trace fossils. Trace fossils are indirect evidence of ancient life and include such things as footprints, body drags, and coprolites.

I was lucky enough to have a one on one tour of the Blue Beach Fossil Museum followed with a hike on the beach where I tried my luck for fossils where important discoveries are still being made. Blue Beach is recognized world-wide for its fossil footprints and the only known tetrapod fossils from the early Carboniferous Period of 350 million years ago when this part of Nova Scotia was still a part of Africa. What was then a giant freshwater lake has become today the shales and sandstones of the Horton Bluff formation.

Chris Mansky and Sonja Wood have collected a fascinating array of fossils from this area and have them professionally displayed at the Blue Beach Fossil museum and Research Centre. Chris and Sonya are working hard on getting a world class museum built at Blue Beach as well as trying to get the Blue Beach designated a world UNESCO site.

Chris explains what each fossil means in “the fossil find of 2009”



1 Response to “Day 210 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Blue Beach, Nova Scotia”

  1. 1 Holly MacDonald
    October 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Blue Beach is a very special place. I have taken a school bus full of Community members (July 2008), to walk on the beach and look for fossils, have a picnic lunch and enjoy. We started at the Museum and took a tour as Chris answered questions and pointed out what to look for as we walked the beach. Since then I have visited three times, always taking other with me. Many of us will continue to come back.
    I hope the local Municipalities and the Province educate themselves as to how important this site is and start giving Blue Beach the recognition it deserves.
    Holly MacDonald

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