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St. John's, Canada

Falcon-Lang H.J.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Gibling M.R.,Dalhousie University | Benton M.J.,University of Bristol | Miller R.F.,New Brunswick Museum | And 2 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2010

Newly discovered tetrapod trackways are reported from eight sites in the Lower Pennsylvanian Tynemouth Creek Formation of southern New Brunswick, Canada. By far the most abundant and well-preserved tracks comprise pentadactyl footprints of medium size (32-53 mm long) with slender digits and a narrow splay (mostly < 55°). Digit lengths typically approximate a phalangeal formula of 23453 (manus) and 23454 (pes), but this may vary due to extramorphology. These tracks are referred to Pseudobradypus and they are attributed to early amniotes. A second type of track (rare) comprises very small (5-8 mm long) tetradactyl manus, and incompletely preserved pedes. Referred to Batrachichnus, these are attributed to temnospondyl amphibians. A third type (also rare) comprises small pentadactyl pedes (20-25 mm long) showing stubby, widely splayed (152°) digits with a terminal bulge. Manus are probably pentadactyl (preservation incomplete) with a narrower digit splay. These footprints, classified as Baropezia, are attributed to anthracosaurs. Facies analysis at the most prolific site (179 footprints documented) suggests that the tetrapods lived amongst small alethopterid trees colonizing the abandoned floor of a seasonally active fixed-channel river and a similar dryland context is probable for the seven other sites. The dominance of amniotes in these dryland alluvial facies contrasts markedly with coeval wetland facies in the nearby Joggins Formation, where skeletal and trackway assemblages are amphibian-dominated. This may imply that amniotes were better adapted to seasonally dry settings and sheds new light on the community ecology of tetrapods during a key evolutionary phase. © 2010.

Miller R.F.,New Brunswick Museum | Falcon-Lang H.J.,University of London
Geology Today | Year: 2012

Stonehammer Geopark of New Brunswick, Canada is one of the newest destinations in the UNESCO-assisted Global Geoparks Network, and the first in North America. Its rocks tell the amazing billion-year story of the evolution of eastern North America. Highlights include some of the finest Precambrian stromatolites in the world, a Cambrian site that yielded one of the world's largest trilobites, and a Silurian section with a rich fauna of fish, crustaceans and sea scorpions. At the famous 'Reversing Falls' in Saint John, visitors can also see the boundary between the Late Precambrian Brookville Terrane and the western part of the Avalon Terrane, and learn about the late Silurian closure of the Iapetus Ocean during the final stages of the accretion of North America. In and around the city, Devonian pebbly sandstones represent the erosive remnants of the highlands formed as a result of that terrane accretion event, and slightly younger Carboniferous exposures further shed light on the evolution of life at a time when the region lay on the equator. These include early Carboniferous clubmoss forests preserved on the main highway east of Saint John, and late Carboniferous deposits rich in the remains of fossil plants, insects, giant arthropods, and some of the earliest reptiles-the latter recorded by spectacular trackways. Scattered Mesozoic outcrops and Quaternary moraines continue the story to the present day. Positioned at the gateway of Atlantic Canada, Stonehammer Geopark is a strategic part of an emerging geotouristic network that also includes UNESCO World Heritage Sites at nearby Misguasha, Quebec (Devonian coastal ecosystems) and Joggins, Nova Scotia (Pennsylvanian fossil forests). It presents a brilliant opportunity to teach visitors of the extraordinary story of Earth's evolution. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, The Geologists' Association & The Geological Society of London.

The introduced European slug Deroceras invadens Reise, Hutchinson, Schunack & Schlitt, 2011 is here reported from St. John's, Newfoundland. This new record is the first from the island of Newfoundland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and from Atlantic Canada. It is the first verified record for this species living outside of greenhouses in eastern Canada. © 2014 Check List and Authors.

The minute land snail, Carychium minimum Müller, 1774 is reported from New Brunswick, Canada. This new record further adds additional data to support the supposition that this introduced, European species is probably more widespread over temperate North America than currently known. © 2015 Check List and Authors.

Bashforth A.R.,Dalhousie University | Bashforth A.R.,Copenhagen University | Bashforth A.R.,Smithsonian Institution | Cleal C.J.,National Museum Wales | And 3 more authors.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology | Year: 2014

The distribution and community ecology of Early Pennsylvanian (middle Bashkirian, Langsettian) vegetation on a seasonally dry fluvial megafan is reconstructed from plant assemblages in the Tynemouth Creek Formation of New Brunswick, Canada. The principal motif of the redbed-dominated succession consists of degraded interfluve surfaces overlain by coarsening-upward aggradational sequences, a pattern that expresses the approach of an active channel system over a part of the megafan where landscape stasis prevailed. Accrual under a (dry) subhumid tropical climate, typified by a protracted dry season and a short wet season with torrential rainfall, resulted in Vertisol-like paleosols, episodic discharge and sedimentation, shallow channels incised into partially indurated interfluve strata, and scattered 'waterhole' deposits. Plant fossils, including many upright stumps, are preferentially preserved above paleosol-mantled interfluve surfaces, recording the inundation of a vegetated landscape. Quantitative analysis of 41 census-sampled megafloral assemblages collected in facies context indicates that a cordaitalean-rich flora dominated the dryland ecosystem. Less common was a wetland flora typical of tropical lowlands at coeval localities, comprising medullosalean pteridosperms and calamitaleans with rare ferns and lycopsids. 'Enigmatic dryland' plants, taxa of ambiguous affinity including Megalopteris, Pseudadiantites, and Palaeopteridium, were rare but surprisingly diverse. The taphonomic and sedimentologic context of fossiliferous horizons indicates that low-diversity, old-growth stands of gigantic cordaitaleans blanketed distal interfluves and inactive parts of the megafan, environs marked by limited deposition and extended paleosol development. Small patches of the pteridosperm-dominated wetland flora were interspersed within the dense cordaitalean forest, restricted to landforms that acted as waterholes during the dry season, such as perennial lakes, stagnant ponds, and seasonally active interfluve channels. In contrast, cordaitaleans and wetland plants formed mixed communities in disturbance-prone proximal interfluves and fluvial tracts, where more flooding and sedimentation resulted in less moisture-stressed conditions and a wider range of habitable landforms. Dense calamitalean groves persisted alongside fluvial channels, and an array of wetland plants occupied seasonally active abandoned channels that retained water throughout the year (waterholes). Rare 'enigmatic dryland' species were more prevalent in flood-prone fluvial tracts, and were dispersed within cordaitalean-dominated and wetland communities rather than forming discrete, compositionally unique patches. Although frequently characterized as 'extrabasinal' or 'upland' elements, this study confirms that these unusual plants occupied Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands during episodes of climatic drying. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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