Field Work

Fundy Fossil Research in 2017

Summary of Previous Field Work

Last year the Fundy dinosaur field work focused on collecting all specimens on the surface of a  section of cliff at Wasson Bluff. The research team focused on collecting small elements exposed on the surface of the sandstone. After ten days of field work the Museum research team had collected over eighty specimens, including several Tritheledont teeth, and the premaxilla (snout) of a theropod dinosaur.

2017 Fossil Research Site – fog at high tide on the Bay of Fundy.

New Field Work Begins

In July 2017, the Museum Research Team established the field site and collected specimens on the surface of the sandstone. Attention is being focused on Zone 3 and 4 of the field site to look for important dinosaur fossils. Several Tritheledont teeth have been discovered and collected.

Collecting of small fossils from the red sandstone. A Protosuchus scute on the surface of cliff and other fossils were found while sifting the sediment. Lunch on the beach was delicious and there was a good weather for the boat trips.

While documenting the site and collecting the fossils, a list of specimens is made in the field book. The location of the specimens in the stratigraphic layers is identified, as well as the length and width.

All specimens collected are added to the specimen log in the Field Notes.

Watch a Facebook Live Video from the start of field work in 2017.

More Field Work

The Museum Research Team is continuing to study these quickly eroding sandstone layers. The Bay of Fundy tides wash against the cliffs and cause rapid erosion of the sandstone. If not collected, the fossils will be destroyed by erosion from rain, wind, ice and waves.

Thank you to all museum volunteers and field crew participants for help during the first week of field work at the Research Site.

More field work is being conducted in August. Stay tuned for more updates or stay connected with the Fundy Geological Museum Facebook Page.



Field Work Updates

July Field Work – Bay of Fundy Jurassic Fossils

The field work done by research staff and volunteers at the Fundy Geological Museum in June to collect Bay of Fundy Jurassic fossils was very successful. Several new specimens were found and collected. These new specimens include portions of several lizard-like reptile (Clevosaurus) skulls, the tip of the snout (premaxilla) from a theropod dinosaur, and a tiny mammal-like reptile tooth.

16.005 - Premaxilla

Returning for more Bay of Fundy Jurassic Fossils

The Museum staff and volunteers have now returned to the research site to continue to look for more fossils that are 200 million years old. On Wedneday July 26, the team transported supplies and tools to the site. The initial supplies are transported to the site using a wheelbarrel. The morning fog along the shore provided a magical setting for the start of another visit to the research site.

Transporting Equipment as Fog rolls over Two Islands

Soon after arriving, the team inspected the Jurassic aged fluvial (river) sandstone exposed at the site. Several new specimens were immediately found. After only a month that included a few rainstorms, several new specimens have become visible on the surface. Volunteers have been assisting with the finds as well.

Volunteers look for Bay of Fundy Jurassic Fossils, near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

On Thursday, volunteers Mark and Jack helped to expose some of the new fossil specimens. Jack found a significant limb bone fragment and proved very adept at carefully removing the sandstone to expose the delicate fossils.

The weather has been very hot! Wedge and Rex, the canine members of the research team, have enjoyed the shade of the tarp during the hottest parts of the day. Rex has demonstrated skills at digging in the sand – although he is still not sure what fossil bone looks like.

Wedge and Rex enjoying the shade at Wasson Bluff.

Museum staff are also continuing to develop the sieving technique. The sandstone is dissolved in water and a screen is used to remove the sand and expose the small fossil bones. The technique is proving to be successful for locating small teeth and bones from the animals preserved in the sandstone.  More updates will follow.

Public Tour of Research Site

There is a public tour of the research site scheduled for Saturday July 30th, from 1:00 – 2:30 pm.  Visit the Museum’s website for more information.

You can also follow the progress of the research team by following the Museum’s Facebook Page.





Field Work Updates

Spring Field Work Summary

As Canada Day approaches there is an excitement in the air in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. The Museum has recently completed the spring field work that was very successful. The Museum’s June field work had excellent weather. Sunny and warm for the entire week. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers that assisted with this years spring field work.

Bay of Fundy fossil research site near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Note: The Wasson Bluff site is protected by Special Places Legislation.  Photo Credit: Amy Tizzard.
Wasson Bluff Research Site on Bay of Fundy Shore. Photo Credit – Amy Tizzard.

New Discoveries

The Museum’s field work was very successful. The field crew was able to collect over twenty five specimens of small bones and teeth from early dinosaurs, mammal-like reptiles, and the swift moving carnivore Protosuchus.

Small vertebrate bones and teeth from the Jurassic, Bay of Fundy.

The field work also produced a very rare Tritheledont postcanine tooth as well. The teeth and bones were deposited within banks and bottoms of a sandy river 200 million year ago. If they were not collected, they would have been lost to erosion from the massive Bay of Fundy tides. These bones are of scientific interest for they represent the survivors of a global mass extinction that happened as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart.

Bay of Fundy Jurassic Tritheledont Tooth

See More – Visit the Museum

The Museum has had a very productive spring field season. You can visit the Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia – to see these new fossils and more. Plan your trip at