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Partridge Island / East Bay (Parrsboro) - Part 2


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Continued from Part 1


These sandstone cliffs show remarkable details. The right section of the picture above show ripples close together, and the left section show what looks like dried up mud. For me this looks like what could have been a body that had dried up either in a warm and dry climate or a body of water where its water level was getting low. You will sometime find trace fossils on these features, as we did that day.



Ken inspecting some trace fossils


Fist sized animal foot prints (middle in an 'S' shape)


We almost ran by these as we didn't notice them at first. Somebody spotted the tiny holes and then when our eyes adjusted, we could make out the fine toe prints of an animal that left its mark, strutting its stuff in the mud (line running in middle, showing as black dots).


Close up of trace fossils showing as black dots,

and a fist size impression in the mud (lower right)


Better close up of individual track(s)


Pair of foot prints in mudstone


Ken is pointing to a set of fossils that are going from bottom right close to where he is pointing his stick to the upper left. It was extremely hard to make them out at this angle, and the camera didn't help with picking up the details. I will have to probably invest in a camera that has a good zoom and deep macro depth.


Another angle (again hard to spot)


Foot print?


Another set of foot prints located at top left


Multiple set of footprints


More footprints (can you spot them?)


Ken had found these bizarre indentations beside what to be an animal dragging its body or part of its body. What was intriguing was that these indentations were on both sides of the drag mark and in equal distance on each side (top of Ken's head, on both sides of drag mark). Below Ken's hand is a fist sized foot print probably made by the same animal.


Another set of indentations close to the edge

One theory is that an animal was moving in a shallow body of water, dragging its body on the sand, possibly paddling with its front legs and digging its hind legs in the sandy floor to move forward. I imagine an animal that could have longer rear legs, using them to propel itself forward casually in the water. It doesn't answer why there is another set of indentations by itself but the sandstone slab is cut off, creating more questions than answers.


These rock formations show signs of extreme force, showing beautiful folding of strata that show like an accordion. Multiple 'S' patterns showing the direction of the fold.


Limestone containing shells


The crows and seagulls were getting agitated and pretty vocal at one point and somebody pointed out to a tall tree on top of the cliffs. Perched on that tree was this handsome bald eagle looking around. I had seen one earlier in a park about 10 minutes drive out of Parrsboro going towards Moncton, but I didn't have the chance to take a picture of it. There are quite a few type of eagles in the area from what I'm told.


Eagle taking off

Usually when I come to Parrsboro and find trace fossils, they're usually of the Triassic age from the early dinosaurs and reptiles like ancient crocodiles. What is nice about these sandstone cliffs is that they are from the Pennsylvanian (lower) Carboniferous Period, at about 320 to 280 million years (probably closer to 300 to 280 million years). The sheer number of them is intriguing and exciting. I've seen these before at the Brule museum in Tetamagouche, Nova Scotia, at the Cremerie. Next time I come here I'll have to venture to Partridge Island and see if I can find anything.

Till next time!

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Y'know, some of these tetrapod track you're showing are from pretty large critters! I somehow had formed the image that smaller was the rule at the time; thanks for setting my think straight!

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These tetrapods tracks were usually made by amphibians that could get as big as the largest present day crocodile. Amniotes (early reptiles) at this period were barely the size of a cat.

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Excellent report , reminds me of my visit to Parsborough 24 years ago.........

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