Virtual Museum of Canada

Miguasha : From water to land (The Miguasha National Park)

The aquatic environment

The waters covering the Miguasha area during Upper Devonian time were teeming with fish.Invertebrates of the Lower Devonian estuarian environment in the Gaspémagnifying(88 kb) But these swimming vertebrates, including a number of large predators, had few invertebrates to choose from when planning their menus.

The macroscopic invertebrate fossils in the Escuminac Formation are limited to tiny conchostracan valves, which occurred in great numbers and were the dietary staple of many fish, and a giant eurypterid, or aquatic scorpion, of which only rare fragments remain. These two animals were typically suited to brakish water environment in the Devonian. The only other signs of invertebrate life are provided by rare trace fossils and microscopic elements contained within the sediments. Even lingulid brachiopods, so characteristic of brackish Devonian waters, are absent!

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The aquatic environment
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Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) Parc national de Miguasha UNESCO World Heritage Centre

© Miguasha National Park 2007

Invertebrates of the Lower Devonian estuarian environment in the Gaspé

Title: Invertebrates of the Lower Devonian estuarian environment in the Gaspé
Author: Parc national de Miguasha
Sources: Parc national de Miguasha
Year: 1991

This photo shows some of the invertebrate animals that lived in the Lower Devonian brackish waters of the Gaspé region. This fauna consisted of the bivalve Modiolopsis, the inarticulate brachiopod Lingula (L), and the articulate brachiopod Globithyris (G). The remains of fish are often found with this association. The absence of such marine taxa in the invertebrate fauna of the Escuminac Formation explains why the idea of Miguasha as a freshwater lake held for so long. This specimen comes from the Cap-aux-Os Member of the Battery Point Formation.