Locations in Nova Scotia (Part 2): Blue Beach – a locality in the Annapolis Valley

George Burden (Canada) In this second article on fossil locations in Nova Scotia in Canada, I will discuss the fascinating site of Blue Beach. This is perhaps the least known and most under-appreciated of the three major fossil cliffs in Nova Scotia. Most residents of the province (including me, until a few months ago) are unaware of the site. This is a pity, for it is the most accessible of the three sites in the Halifax Regional Municipality, which is the major population centre of Nova Scotia. Blue Beach is located just outside the town of Hantsport in the Annapolis Valley, just off Highway 101. Chris Mansky, a knowledgeable amateur palaeontologist, and Sonja Wood own and run a private interpretation centre and museum. Chris takes visitors on a tour of the museum and down to the beach, pointing out interesting fossils and sharing his, not inconsiderable, knowledge of this important deposit, which dates from Romer’s Gap in the Early Carboniferous Period (360  to 340 million years ago). Romer’s Gap, named after palaeontologist Dr. Alfred Romer, was a period from about 360 to 340 million year ago from which fossils are rarely found. It is not known for sure why this is the case, but this was also a crucial time for tetrapod development. Along with the Kirkton Quarry in Bathgate, Scotland, Blue Beach is one of the few sites Gap fossils are accessible. As Chris says: One of the first things a visitor will notice about Blue Beach is that … Read More

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