home   Printer friendly version Add to site
Advanced search
Time & Space Fossil Gallery Famous Flora & Fauna
Careers Resources K-12 Collections PaleoPeople

The Precambrian in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Precambrian in Newfoundland and Labrador map

undifferentiated rock units help

Choose a time period:


Precambrian Fossils
Fossil photos from Precambrian in Newfoundland and Labrador

Previous (6 slides) Next
Search the fossil gallery

Paleontology and geology

All the exposed rock on the Labrador Peninsula, with the exception of two very small pockets near the Strait of Belle Isle, is Precambrian in age. Geologists have divided these Precambrian rocks, which span three billion years (3.6-0.54 Ga) into geologic provinces that have similar histories. The 3.8-3.6 Ga gneisses of the Nain Province in northern Labrador are some of the oldest rocks known on the planet. Other rocks belong to the Churchill and Grenville Provinces, ranging in age from 3.2-0.5 Ga. These rocks are part of the Canadian Shield, and formed the southern edge of Laurentia during the Precambrian. A group of rocks in Gros Morne National Park, western Newfoundland, were declared an UNESCO World Heritage site because they are thought to represent a unique environment: the Earth's mantle. Current research has questioned this interpretation, but the geological importance and natural beauty of this area are irrefutable.

On the Avalon Peninsula in eastern Newfoundland, there are 565 Ma igneous and sedimentary rocks that were once part of the continent of Gondwana. These deposits of sandstone, shale, and volcanic ash collected in shallow basins at the edge of the continent and preserve an extraordinary fauna. Fossils of over 30 species of rare, Precambrian soft-bodied animals were found here, and most represent extinct groups of animals.

Links to more on the Precambrian in Newfoundland and Labrador

Education and Exhibits

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.

top Top of List

Quebec Province Map