Virtual Museum of Canada

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

The Escuminac Formation

Not everyone is in agreement about the meaning of the Micmac word “Escuminac”.The Escuminac Formationmagnifying(88 kb) Some think it means “meeting place”, and others, like Étienne Guinard of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (Quebec’s public body for managing place names), say it means “there are small fruits up to here”.

Escuminac is both the name of a municipality and a small river that flows southward into the estuary of the Ristigouche River. The place where the two rivers meet is called Escuminac Bay. The bay has a relatively small size, but about a hundred years ago, it also encompassed the body of water along the Miguasha cliff. This is why Miguasha specimens were once referred to as being “Scaumenac Bay” fossils. From the local place name also came the title of the fossil-rich rock sequence: the Escuminac Formation. The best studied geological section of this rock formation, and one that serves as a reference section, is the cliff outcrop located within the boundaries of the Parc national de Miguasha.

The Escuminac Formation in the New-Richmond regionmagnifying(112 kb)The enormous number of fossilized fish contained in the Escuminac Formation has garnered it worldwide acclaim among paleontologists who specialize in the Devonian Period. The age of this rock formation is quite exceptional in the Gaspé region, and other than extensions of the same formation along the northern shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, no other similar sedimentary deposits of Upper Devonian age are known in the region.

The Escuminac Formation

Title: The Escuminac Formation
Author: Not available
Sources: Parc national de Miguasha
Year: 2006

The reference section for the Escuminac Formation is the cliff in the Parc national de Miguasha.

The Escuminac Formation in the New-Richmond region

Title: The Escuminac Formation in the New-Richmond region
Author: Parc national de Miguasha
Sources: Parc national de Miguasha
Year: 2007

An outcrop of the Escuminac Formation at Cascapédia-St-Jules in the New Richmond area. It represents the most easterly extension of this famous fossil-rich formation, lying 40 kilometres from Miguasha.