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New Brunswick, Canada



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Paleontology and geology

The Precambrian: In Precambrian, the edge of Laurentia extended to southern Quebec. Most of New Brunswick had yet to form at this time. Southern New Brunswick, however, existed as part of the Avalon terrane. This land began as a series of islands that later collided with Gondwana.

The Paleozoic: Subduction off the coasts of Laurentia and Gondwana created many volcanic island arcs as the ocean between them closed. Pieces of these islands, slices of oceanic crust, and the Avalon terrane were pushed up onto this continent. These collisions were marked by substantial volcanism. In the marine waters around the islands, trilobites, brachiopods, and many other invertebrates flourished. Early fish and sharks swam in the lakes and estuaries. Over time, extensive forests and swamps filled with insects and reptiles developed on land. By the end of the Paleozoic, all the continents were pushed or pulled together to form the supercontinent Pangea, with New Brunswick near the center.

The Mesozoic: Pangea started to break apart soon after it formed. As the Atlantic Ocean opened up, rift basins developed, such as the Bay of Fundy. Sediments from the highlands were deposited in the basin by rivers and lakes. Fissures erupted with lava and ash as the crust in the basin continued to thin. New Brunswick was above sea level during this time, and many of these rocks have been removed by erosion.

The Cenozoic: Erosion continued to strip away deposits throughout the Tertiary. In the Quaternary, New Brunswick was alternately covered by forest, tundra, and ice. In between the glaciers, mastodons roamed the land, and higher sea levels left marine fossils along the coasts. Landforms created by the glaciers can be seen throughout the province.

Links to more on New Brunswick paleontology

Organizations | Education and Exhibits | Resources


Societies and Clubs (showing 1 of 1 listings)

Geological Association of Canada's Paleontology Division: The division's activities, publications, and goals.

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Museums (showing 1 of 1 listings)

The New Brunswick Museum Geology/Paleontology collections: Over 1,000 type specimens are found in the palaeontology collection, including vertebrate, invertebrate, plant and trace fossils (plus 50,000 geological specimens).

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Education and Exhibits

Virtual Exhibits (showing 1 of 1 listings)

The Dawn of Animal Life: While most people know of the dinosaurs from a mere 70 million years ago, very few are aware that the Earth's fossil record stretches over 3 billion years into the past. Using exclusively Canadian rocks and fossils, this exhibit highlights almost three billion years of early evolution when only simple, soft-bodied creatures inhabited the Earth.

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General Reference (showing 1 of 1 listings)

Enchanted Learning's Dinosaur Fossils Found in Canada: A list of dinosaurs found in Canada, by province.

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Quebec Province Map
Prince Edward Island Province Map
Nova Scotia Province Map
Maine State Map