Thematic Fossil Centre in Notre-Dame-du-Nord

More than 400 million years ago in the Temiscamingue Region, on the shores of Lake Timiskaming, sedimentary rocks were formed.

Today, they contain the debris of seashells as well as of shells of animals that thrived over 400 million years ago at a time when animal life did not exist on land but solely in seas and oceans.

These fossils provide us with evidence that at some time in the very distant past, the Temiscamingue region lay submerged under a tropical sea.

They also represent a natural catalogue of the evolution of life. Behind bryozoans, brachiopods, gastropods and other creatures with bizarre names lies a fabulous history that palaeontologists have been seeking to decipher. Magnifying glasses in hand, they have succeeded in tracing the path leading from primitive single-cell plants to the animal kingdom as we now know it.

These organisms also testify to the myriad of changes that have transformed the earth. The abundant presence of these fossils around Lake Timiskaming is evidence of the cataclysmic upheaval that created the Great Rift Valley and at the same time moulded the landscape of the Temiscamingue area.

Through its temporary exhibits, the Thematic Fossil Centre has set out to provide information on various episodes of this epic adventure and at the same time to make the public aware of the role science plays in our lives.

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