Canadian Fossils Have Outgrown Their Home

Canadian Fossils Have Outgrown Their Home
Let's Build a 'Paleo-Centre'

A ‘One-of-a-kind’ Collection - 350 mya Lower Carboniferous Fossil Evidence
‘Evolution’s Greatest Mystery’

Rendition for the 'new' Blue Beach Fossil Museum, Nova Scotia Canada.

Blue Beach, Nova Scotia Canada is internationally acknowledged by todays leading researchers as the oldest fossil site in the world showing evidence of the first 4-legged, terrestrial air-breathing creatures to move from water on to land: the tetrapods.
The first discovery of the 350 million year old fossil vertebrate footprint evidence at Horton Bluff (Blue Beach) was by Sir William Logan in 1841. Much later, in the 1940’s and 1950’s a researcher from Harvard (Dr. Alfred Romer) looked for evidence of these primitive land-animals and instead found  a ‘gap’ that spanned the first 30-million years of the Carboniferous Period (360 million years ago, a time of the early coal-forests). This famous gap was later named ‘Romer’s gap’ and not a single fossil bone had ever been discovered within the time of the gap, suggesting the most important chapters of today’s land-animals was missing.

 Periods of Time 

In 1966, the first fossil bones of these missing land-animals were discovered at Blue Beach, dating to the middle of Romer’s gap. Paleontologists descended on the site with renewed interest, but after 35 years of sporatic fieldwork they met with little overall success.

In 1995, citizen paleontologist Chris Mansky began systematically collecting and researching the fossils and has amassed a cornucopia of fossil evidence on these tetrapods along with several thousand specimens documenting various fish, some of the earliest forests and a trace fossil collection that has been called “A Rosetta Stone for Lower Carboniferous trace fossil studies”.

Then in 2000 at the end of Blue Beach Rd., Chris met Sonja Wood - owner of the Blue Beach property. After a six month courtship, it was obvious to both the importance of the fossils that were in her backyard. Together, they decided to put build a display in a small building to house some of the large collection of the fossils gathered from the shoreline adjacent the property for people to view. 

Since, the collection has attracted the attention of thousands of visitors and renowned paleontologist’s from around the world. Its specimens have been the subject of increasing study - the results appearing in many peer-reviewed science journals and publications. (see links below)

Romer's Gap Revisited

A Diverse Tetrapod Fauna at the base of Romer’s Gap

The Word from Above

With the strong encouragement of local and international scientists, members of the local communities, and initial financial contributions from levels of government, the couple began the process to create a world-class institution, since the expanding collection and vision for a proper research and education facility far exceed the resources of the current building. They envision the new professionally designed and much larger Blue Beach Fossil Museum telling the story of those first land animals and their world based on their fossil remains – a story that began 350 million years ago that ultimately lead to ourselves.

It would be a nexus for paleontological research, public education and outreach, and geo- and ecotourism, all contributing to new scientific discoveries.

The couple has made significant progress with the creation of a not-for-profit Society with Canadian Registered Charitable Tax Status and have obtained local permit approvals and assessments to move forward with the project. They are now poised to sell the sub-divided portion of the Blue Beach property for the purpose to accelerate the process to create the museum. To do so will require an experienced team of workers and of course additional financial resources.

They would thus welcome interested investors to participate in the creation of this new world class geoscience museum and therefore invite you to share their dream by becoming a Founding Patron or making donations to the project.

    Associated femora and tibia of earliest known whatcheeriid tetrapod, from the Lower Carboniferous of Blue Beach, Nova Scotia, Canada. 
Convex Palaeosauropus trackway, Lower Carboniferous of Blue Beach, Nova Scotia, Canada.

One of Canada's oldest fossil trackways of the tetrapod.

Further Reading:


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