The Roar of the Bay

The Roar of the Bay
The Roar of the Bay

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June Trek to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs (June 27th, 2011)

Last week I went back to the cliffs at Joggins, Nova Scotia to sniff around and see if I could discovery different finds from my previous ventures.  June had been a very wet month, so the chances for the cliffs to be revealing new specimens were high as I'm sure lots of sediment must have eroded.

When I left early in the morning it was raining; a light drizzle with a cloud ceiling consisting of multiple different shades of gray, but that didn't damper my spirit as I had heard that the sky would open up sometime during the day.  By the time I had reached my destination, the Sun had come out in full force.

Reaching the cliffs I could see the rain had done its work.  There were heaps of eroded cliff tailing on the ground and new rock falls, showing freshly cracked sandstone.  There was a lot of debris and by the end of my walk, a lot of new things to see.

The name escapes me, but I'll find out and edit the post.

Oyster-type fossils with tiny snails.

Same type of fossils, with my thumb for size reference.

Close up of a clam/bivalve type fossil.

More oyster-like fossils.

I found trees that I didn't photograph before. The rain had cleaned the silt and mud, causing these trees to pop out right off the cliff face.

Tree with root exposed.

I've been coming here for almost 2 years and I had never found any fern-like fossils, until now. There was a new rockfall and some sandstone boulders had cracked open. I was lucky to find several specimens at one location.

More ferns.

I had already taken a pic of this tree in my previous trek to Joggins (Dawson Tour in May 2011). Like I said back then, its a BIG freakin tree. =P

Here's an example of a tree with roots extending out. The tree itself is barely noticeable, except for the outlines on the edges (lines going up and inside above my hat). The the roots (stigmaria) of this lycopsid type tree, on the other hand, are very detailed. You can see bits of other stigmaria sticking out of the rock on the edge (right side) of this photo.

Close-up of the roots.

Pic showing multiple trees grouped together (showing dense foliage)

Fog building up

Hardscrabble Point, which at one time saw its innards flying due to some crazy geologists and some sticks of dynamite. =P

This last image shows what I came to Joggins that day to look for: trace fossils of Arthropleura. Arthropleura was an ancestor to the modern day centipede and could grow to almost 3 meters (~9 feet) and dominated the floor of Carboniferous coniferous forests. I was happy to have found these trackways. The fact that more than one trackway is showing on the sandstone slab and crossing one another is amazing, but also showing that the forest floor was hosting living organisms.

Arthropleura (Artist rendition)

Arthropleura in its element.

Till next time!

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