Aspidella! A Significant Fossil Comes Home
Some of the province’s very oldest residents have come home to visit. At half a billion years old Aspidella terranovica, “Newfoundland’s Little Shield” is a fossil that has some stories to tell about early life on our planet.
First discovered in downtown St. John’s, Aspidella was the first fossil ever identified from the Ediacaran period. It is one of the earliest multicellular organisms recorded on the planet. The original specimens were found by geologist Alexander Murray in 1866. He sent them to Canadian paleontologist Elkanah Billings who named and described them as Aspidella terranovica in 1872. Come see them before they return to their permanent home at the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa.
Image: GSC 221, courtesy of Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada.