News Release Archive


There's an opportunity to discover a time when Nova Scotia was
populated by giant insects and tiny dinosaurs.

Every weekend through to September visitors can join the staff of
the Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro, Cumberland County, for
a "Travel Back in Time Walk@ and strike out on an expedition to
rediscover Nova Scotia's pre-historic time.

Museum interpreters will give the inside scoop on traces left by
the creatures and plants of the Carboniferous, Triassic and
Jurassic periods at places like Joggins, Wasson's Bluff and

At Joggins one might come across the fossilized trunk of a tree
that grew in a rainforest 300 million years ago. Small animals of
these ancient rain forests sometimes fell into the  hollow trunks
of decaying trees.  Trapped in the trunks some of the little
predecessors of the dinosaurs died and their bones became some of
oldest amphibian and reptile fossils in the world.

Geologists also discovered 300 million year-old tracks left by
scaly creatures that looked like eight feet long centipedes. A
model of these animals can be seen at the Fundy Geological Museum
along with dioramas of other huge insect-like creatures.

The sites along the Bay of Fundy attract all kinds of visitors
from amateur geology enthusiasts to families on a day trip, but
the visitors who follow the museum experts along the rocky
beaches get a very different experience than those who choose to
wander the sites alone.

" Something happened here. The rocks were formed horizontally and
now they are almost vertical. There were continents colliding and
tearing apart," said Ken Adams, Fundy Geological Museum curator
and geologist about West Bay, another site on the Travel Back in
Time Walks agenda. " We try to give people on the walks the tools
to start reading that story.@

"It was the highlight of our trip," said the father of a family
visiting Nova Scotia, after one of the walks. The rest of the
family nodded as they filled up their rain jacket pockets with
petrified wood and fern fossils they found on the beach.

Almost everyone on the walk found something to take home. People
hoping to have their finds identified as fossils eagerly
displayed them to Adams.  Everyone walked slowly down the shore,
scanning the beach for more treasure,  some muttering their
fossils' newly-learned Latin names.

The punishing high tides of the Bay of Fundy strip away feet of
cliffs every year and the fossils in the cliffs first fall to the
beach and are later swept away in the tides.  Anyone with a keen
eye can find fossils strewn on the beach.

All fossils in Nova Scotia are protected by provincial
legislation, however usually the most important fossils are those
still in situ in the cliffs.  Geologists learn some of the most
valuable information about a fossil by examining its original

Contact: Joan Waldron 902-424-7398 
         Ken Adams 902-254-3814

mfm          Aug. 20, 1996 - 1:10 p.m.