Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Rarely Seen Yet Commonly Found

Rarely Seen Yet Commonly Found
a glimpse of rare 350 million year old
Fossils of Blue Beach, Nova Scotia Canada
        
                                       
The Wave Ripples
Sedimentary structures indicating subaerial conditions: Wave ripples formed near shorelines much as they do today. They were covered with mud and silt, preserving the ancient ripples.
The Mudcracks


Secondary sedimentary structures:  Mudcracks form after sediment deposition and they indicate a significant period of drying, because of its exposure to sun and air.
The Raindrops
Surficial impressions indicating subaerial conditions: These exquisite markings are only preserved in ideal circumstances, rarely seen.
Scratches
Intermittent Tool-marks: Most tool-marks were caused by an interaction between dead branches and shallow water currents.
Recurved Scratches
Oscillatory currents: Usually waves in stormy conditions, produce tool-marks that appear to curve.

Parallel Linear Scratches
Unidirectional currents: These are most common tool-marks representing typical longshore drift.

Bark  Impression
Lycopsid trees: Commonly found as simple compressions in the sandstones and siltstones, and represent one of the earliest forested wetlands.
Tree Branches
Compressions: The early Mississippian species 'Lepidodendropsis corrugatum'  is the dominant tree in the paleoflora.
Mega Spores
Dense accumulations: A rich assemblage of these spores indicate there was a far greater diversity of plant life than the macrofossil record would suggest.

 
Plant Rootlets
Stigmaria: Commonly found in situ as the roots remained buried in the sediments where they originally grew.
Coastal Marsh Floras 
Archaeocalamites plant: Colonization by nearshore plant communities was soon followed by true wetland-forest communities, a sign that marshes were an important step in the development of terrestrial ecosystems.

Strobilus
Plant Fructification: Furtile and unfurtile branches and stems are common components in Paleozoic land floras. Preservation can vary, as seen by this entumbed-form.

Worm Tubes
Natural sandstone casts: Healthy populations of burrowing worms created elaborate systems of tunnels in the sediments in times of slighty deeper waterlevels.
 Rusophycus
Resting trace of a short-bodied arthropod: Trails and resting places of various arthropods are present and account for a diverse community of non-vertebrate animals not known from their body fossils.
Bone Beds
Dense accumulations: Fish scales, skeletal parts and teeth cover entire bedding-plane surfaces in the deposit at Blue Beach. The majority of the remains belonged to small extinct fishes known as, the palaeoniscoids.

Rhizodont Tooth
Sarcopterygian fish: Giant predatory fish with alligator-like dental morphology often shed their teeth throughout their lives, seen by the abundance of fossils like the example above. Other fossilized parts of their skeletons are important finds.


Rhizodont Fish Scale
Rhizodonts were covered in thin scales which meant their bodies were highly flexible throughout their length and relatively lightweight.  As unchanllenged masters of the early coal-swamps, speed was an advantage while armour was unnecessary.
  Tetrapod Limb Bones
Famora of Stem Tetrapoda: Blue Beach contains the earliest complex assortment of four-legged vertebrates to ever walk upon land. Their bones are crucial to our understanding of the interrelationships of all later land-vertebrates.


Tetrapod Footprints and Trackways
Unlike their rarely found bones, signs of their behaviours left a rich trace-fossil record at Blue Beach, represented by over 2000 slabs of rock containing tracks in the collection at Blue Beach.
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Thank you for reading about our fossils! We hope you get a chance to visit Blue Beach, Nova Scotia Canada
If you would like to know more about the Blue Beach fossils and our research/project, feel free to enjoy our links below:

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