Sunday 17 May 2015

Mistaken Point Fossils

Made a long overdue trip to Mistaken Point today with 2 friends from Ontario.

This site is home to the worlds oldest fossils of complex lifeforms - 575 million years old! It is on the Southern Avalon along the Cape Race road. Daily guided hikes (free of charge) take you to the impressive display of literally thousands of exposed fossils.

I've seen many photos and videos of these fossils, but in real life they were much more impactful. Although photos can pick up the details of a single specimen, it's the number of fossils in the area that is truly breath taking and make the walk to the point worthwhile. Not to mention the good birds we saw along the way: Willow Ptarmigan (on a nest!), Merlin, American Pipit, among others.

This last fossil shows a ring like structure that is thought to be the base of the "leaf" that extends upwards, similar to seaweed this base would have held the organism to the seafloor.

Here's a short clip narrated by none other than David Attenborough about these very fossils:

Rusty Blackbirds have returned to the Avalon recently:

Also saw my lifer Brown Elphin the other day - poor photo but a beautiful butterfly!