The staff and volunteers at the Fundy Geological Museum are collecting 200 million year old teeth bones from a site on the Bay of Fundy shore. These are important discoveries because these sandstone rocks contain the fossils of animals that survived the end-Triassic mass extinction.
The researchers are examining sediments from a Jurassic aged river found in the McCoy Brook Formation, near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. The red cliffs are made of fine grained sandstone and mudstone, and preserve the bones and teeth of animals that lived during that time. For several days the field crew of Museum staff and volunteers have worked in blazing Nova Scotia sunshine and made some great discoveries.
On June 26 – the field crew has found several small teeth that are of great interest. One of the most spectacular finds is the premaxilla (tip of the snout) from what may be a meat-eating (theropod) dinosaur.
The new fossils will be cleaned and studied in the Museum’s Fossil Research Lab. Museum researchers will study them in detail in order to establish the identity of the animal.
The delicate bone was preserved in the fine grain sediments of a sandy Jurassic river. These river sands flowed into an ancient rift valley 200 million years ago. The bones were scattered down a river that cut through the sand dune landscape of the rift valley. The fossil bones tell a story from a time of great global change.
Museum researchers will continue to work at the site until June 28.
Protected Research Site
Wasson Bluff is protected by Nova Scotia Special Places Protection legislation. Research permits are required to examine the rocks and fossils at the research site.
The Fundy Geological Museum isthe centre for field research related to the Triassic and Jurassic fossil sites located in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy region.
The Jurassic sandstone cliffs of the Parrsboro shore represent a time of great global change. Fault lines that cut through these rocks and dinosaur bones represent massive earthquakes that broke apart the supercontinent Pangea 200 million years ago. The rupture caused the geological structure of the Bay of Fundy. A large and ancient rift basin that was shifting and sinking for 40 million years, these rocks preserve a rich fossil record from the dawn of the dinosaurs.
New Field Work
The power of the world’s highest tides of the Bay of Fundy causes the sandstone cliffs to erode very quickly. The rapid erosion exposes new fossil specimens every year and makes this one of the richest sites in North America for new fossil discoveries.
In 2016 the Museum staff and volunteers are examining new fossils eroding from the research site at Wasson Bluff. A sandstone layer that contains scattered bones of small lizards and dinosaurs is of interest for potential to provide additional evidence of early dinosaur evolution.
The Museum staff are examining the site to document the types of animals represented by the 200 million year old bones and teeth found at the site.
Initial Survey Work
From June 24 to 28, Museum staff and volunteers will be examining the sandstone layer exposed from the erosion that occurred last winter. The field work begins with documenting the small bones exposed on the surface of the layers.
June 25 – Tour the Research Site
On Saturday June 25 a guided tour to the active Research Site will be lead by Ken Adams. The tour will provide visitors an opportunity to speak to the Museum Curatorial Staff and volunteers who are doing the research work.
The tour leaves the Museum at 10:30 am.
Sturdy footwear (ankle high boots) recommended for walking on this rocky shoreline.
Dress appropriately for the weather. It is usually cooler along the coast.
You can now watch Episode 3 of DinoHunt Canada on YouTube.
The four part series originally aired on History Channel in January of 2015. Episode 3 “The Dawn of the Dinosaurs” focuses on the dinosaur bones and footprints found on the shores of Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy.
Watch the episode to see how the team from the Fundy Geological Museum work to expose the bones of 200 million year old dinosaurs, while others search for clues among the dinosaur footprints and other fossils found along the shores of the Bay of Fundy.