Mistaken Point, Canada

  • Vanda Claudino-Sales
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 28)


Mistaken Point is a fossil site located on the island of Newfoundland, in Eastern Canada. It consists of rugged coastal cliffs of deep marine origin, representing the oldest known assemblages of large fossils in the world. Placed in the Ediacaran period, dated to the geological time interval of 580–560 million years, the fossils illustrate the first appearance of biologically complex organisms. Fossil evidence shows that life originated nearly 3 billion years before those of Mistaken Point, but most Precambrian life was generally single-celled and microscopic. The coastal cliffs of Mistaken Point represent the moment in biological evolution “when life got big.” The fossils there range from a few centimeters to nearly 2 m in length and are outstanding examples of major stages of Earth’s record of life.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanda Claudino-Sales
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of Ceará StateFortalezaBrazil

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