Quebec park named a World Heritage Site

A fossil site in Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Located in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region, west of Carleton, the park of Miguasha is a unique site, in terms of the diversity, abundance and exceptional preservation of fossil fishes and plants known throughout the world.

The site has been attracting paleontologists for over one hundred years.Scientific studies carried out on fish and plants in Miguashademonstrate a living environment that dates from 370 million years ago. Research in the park has helped scientists understand one of the most important stages in the evolution of life: how the vertebrates came toreign over the land. For example, the “Eusthenopteron foordi”, a fishnicknamed the “Prince of Miguasha”, has lungs and bony structures in its paired fins, which explains the transition from aquatic to terrestrial vertebrates.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum of natural history and fossil cliff in the park, which now joins the 582 sites have been inscribed on the World Heritage List. Miguasha is in distinguished company that includes t Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Canada’s other sites include Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta and the Historic District of Québec City.