Fossil Centre fills visitor with ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’
My wife and I live in Utica, New York and during our recent vacation in Canada we specifically made a point of visiting the Cape Breton Fossil Centre in Sydney Mines.
We found out about the Fossil Centre in the “Nova Scotia 2017 Doers & Dreamers Travel Guide” and when we arrived on July 20 we were greeted by the curator, Dr. Stuart Critchley.
The all-volunteer staff was most welcoming and helpful. The tour guide for the collection of Pennsylvanian plant fossils of the Sydney coal region was well informed about the collection.
As a practicing paleontologist, my first impression of this collection was one of awe, wonder and amazement. This is without doubt the finest collection on display of Pennsylvanian plant fossils I have ever seen. It by far outranks all other collections of plant fossils of the same age that I have seen in other parts of Canada, the United States and England.
The collection at the Cape Breton Fossil Centre is comprehensive in coverage and is well and accurately labeled. The degree of preservation of the plant fossils is superb and is superior to the plant fossils from Joggins, St. Claire, Penn., the Mazon Creek region of Illinois and the various coal fields of England.
I highly recommend the Fossil Centre to anyone interested in this aspect of the natural history of Nova Scotia. It is a shame that the Nova Scotia government does not seem to appreciate its immense scientific, historical and cultural value.
Shutting down the Fossil Centre would be to ignore a significant aspect of the natural and cultural history of Nova Scotia as well as to deny its own citizens a unique view of the world as it existed 350 million years ago. Victor P. Tollerton, Jr. Utica, New York