A bottom-dwelling marine invertebrate organism of the Class Anthozoa.
This cross-section of fossilized coral in limy sandstone comes from the
Glenwood area in central Newfoundland.
Ammonites are ancient cephalopod molluscs that were particularly abundant
during the time of the dinosaurs.
This is a cross-section of an ammonite from western Canada. The living
organism lived in the chamber at the end of the spiral. As it grew
larger, it formed a new chamber. The animal had tentacles that it used
to catch its food.
Stromatolites are internally layered, mat or mound structures produced
by sediment trapping, binding, and/or precipitation as the result of
the activity of blue-green algae (cyanophytes).
Concentrically banded (growth features) mounds or mats consisting of
calcium carbonate (limestone) and silt that is part of an old
blue-green algae colony. They form large limestone (calcium carbonate)
deposits in western Newfoundland.
|Brachiopods and Gastropods
Brachiopods are a type of shelled animal with two unequal shell halves
that usually lived attached to the seafloor by a stalk. Gastropods refer
to any mollusc belong to the Class Gastropoda characterized by a
distinct head with eyes and tentacles, and, in most, by a single
calcareous shell that is closed at the apex (e.g., a snail).
Shelly limestone made from the shelly remains of sea creatures that
accumulated on the seafloor. Brachiopods are the ribbed fan-shaped
fossils in the centre of the picture. Gastropods are the spiral-shaped
fossils in the lower left-hand corner. Brachiopods and gastropods are
common fossils in central and western Newfoundland.
Ancient marine animals that lived millions of years ago. They were
arthropods and were covered by a tough exterior skeleton that
was divided into three main parts - head, body and tail. As they grew,
they shed their skeleton to grow a larger one. Modern relatives include
crabs and lobsters. Trilobites first appeared about 550 million years
ago and became extinct about 240 million years ago.
This well-preserved trilobite surrounded by a matrix of trilobite
fragments was collected from the Manuel's River area, near St. John's.
|Precambrian Primitive Fossils
Some of the oldest fossils found in the world are about 570 million
years old and are related to the present-day jellyfish and sea anemones.
They were soft-bodied creatures without a skeleton or shell, and were
only preserved because they were rapidly covered with fine-grained
These specimens are found at Mistaken Point, near Cape Race on the
Avalon Peninsula. The photo on the left shows the preserved impressions or casts
of soft-bodied, multicellular organisms of Precambrian age. Two
varieties, ribbed and spindle-shaped forms, are shown in the photograph.
The photo on the right shows a frond-like form with a
disc-shaped structure to the left. This disc may represent a circular
anchorage for the once-upright frond-like form.