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  The Excitement of Discovery

The Excitement of Discovery

Trace Maker
  Arthropleura sp.
(An extinct bug that looked like a giant roly-poly bug)
Trace Name
  Diplichnites sp.
  Carboniferous Period
(About 315 million years old)
  Joggins, Nova Scotia
Cast or Mold
  Staff of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
  Diplichnites Imagine spending hours lying on your back underneath a large slab of rock that juts out from a cliff trying to mold a large trace fossil. All the while, the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy creep towards you until they lap at your feet. Then imagine your excitement when you discovered there was more than one trace fossil preserved!

Arthropleura were very large invertebrates that grew up to 50 centimetres in width and two metres long! They left behind traces that resemble train tracks.

Now can you see the tiny foot prints? These were made by an amphibian and are called Dromillopus quadrifudus (DRO-MILL-O-PUS QUAD-RA-FEUD-US). This trackway was a "surprise discovery", only noticed when the mold was closely examined. And even more exciting is that it is a "type specimen" - meaning that it was the first of its kind to be described.
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