Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks Municipal Heritage Site
Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks hearken to the world that existed during the Cambrian Period, nearly 500 millions years ago. At that time, Newfoundland and Labrador was a very different place. These rocks developed by the layering of sand, silt and mud deposits where the skeletons of the primitive animals that lived on the sea bed and swam in the water have been frozen in time.
The Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks can be found, frozen in time, embedded in the cliffs and shore exposures beginning at the high-water mark at Branch Head at the south entrance of Branch Cove to Easter Cove. The area between contains the geological layers and locations of the fossiliferous rocks including those at the Green Gulch, Wester Cove.
Already in the latter part of the nineteenth century, James Howley and Alexander Murray, two geologists of Newfoundland and Labrador who visited Branch during a survey noted the fossils that have been richly preserved in the rock. However, it was in 1959 when the site was first studied.
This geological gift has been accordingly noted by Canada’s Historic Places for its value to the heritage of the community, province and country as a whole. The significance of these fossiliferous rocks is unquestionable as they are regarded to be the only such rocks in Newfoundland and Labrador. Moreover, the sequence of rocks is also considered to be of international importance. They are an undeniable treasure.
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