|CELEBRATING NEWFOUNDLAND'S EDIACARAN FOSSILS!: Hallelujah for ichnologists who can read the rocks and interpret the patterns imprinted on their surfaces! Hallelujah for deep time and strata that holds the presence of life from millions of years ago! Hallelujah for the best record of Ediacaran fossils in the world located in Newfoundland! (Art by Hallelujah Truth, aka Ruth Schowalter and wife of the brilliant ichnologist Anthony Martin)|
ANCIENT ENIGMAS. Along the coast of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada, one can see fossils from more than 500 million years ago. For more information about this topic, go to Liam Herringshaw's blog entry: East Coast Trails: Mistaken Point Just May Be The Place Where Animals First Got Going. (Photo by Tony Martin and photoshopped by Hallelujah)
Hallelujah for superlatives in ichnology and witnessing the most important and spectacular Ediacaran fossil assemblages in the world firsthand. On the last day of a three-day field trip for Ichnia 2012 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, our group happily climbed into our bus from our hotel in Trepassy to JOURNEY to Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve (See Day 1 and Day 2 of the Ichnia field trip).
FIRST THINGS FIRST. Before we arrived at Mistaken Point our bus halted, and Jack Matthews catapulted out of the bus to climb atop an outcrop containing pizza-shaped Ediacaran fossils.
CLOSE UP OF ONE OF THE "PIZZAS" APPARENTLY MISSING PEPPERONI. The Canadian flag scale is 5 centimeters (2 inches) long, thus indicating this Ediacaran organism was the size of a small personal pizza.
|ONWARD TO MISTAKEN POINT. Because of the preciousness of the Ediacaran fossils on Mistaken Point, visitors, even scientific ones, need to be accompanied by guides/interpreters.|
|HIKING IN TO THE EDIACARAN. Walking along the green meadows high above the sea cliffs, the Newfoundland landscape awed us with its beauty. It took close to an hour of hiking to get us to the superlative Ediacaran fossils. (Photo by Tony Martin)|
PLANT OR ANIMAL? As these organisms are studied, paleontologists are still debating which life forms these are most related to: plants or animals? The Ediacaran fossil you see above resembles a dense frond, but was it a plant?
PHOTOSHOPPED EDIACARAN FOSSILS. Why not play around with these images of ancient life forms, which evoke something familiar yet unidentifiable to the average non-paleontologist?
|PLANT OR ANIMAL? Ha Ha, just kidding! Here, Chiboogamoo (Tony Martin), clad in his stylish Bama Booties, kneels to worship the Ediacaran fossils, and tries to "read" the rocks with his fingers. (Photo by Hallelujah)|
|HALLELUJAH FOR THE EDIACARAN IN NEWFOUNDLAND AT MISTAKEN POINT. (Art by Hallelujah Truth, aka Ruth Schowalter and wife of the brilliant ichnologist Anthony Martin. Here I have photoshopped the image at the top of this blog entry to evoke a different feeling, perhaps one of celebration instead of enigma!)|
Note: This blog entry was completed more than a year after the journey to Newfoundland. Reflecting on Ichnia 2012, from my home in Decatur, Georgia, at the beginning of September 2013, I found it difficult to recall all the wonderful ideas I was going to report on. Therefore, I called upon the exceptional skills of Chiboogamoo, the resident ichnologist in my household, to help me complete this blog. I wish to express gratitude to said ichnologist for his patience and knowledge. Oh and thank you for the beer at The Marlay while we pieced together our expedition to Mistaken Point.