Geological New Brunswick piece on display at Luxembourg exhibition – CTV News Atlantic

A stromatolite fossil discovered in west Saint John’s Dominion Park, that dates back about one billion years, has travelled across the Atlantic and landed in Luxembourg, where it’s now on display as part of an exhibition about geoparks.
"The stromatolites were found [in Dominion Park] in 1890 by George Frederick Matthew, who was a founding member of the Steinhammer Club…a group of men in the area who were interested in studying the geology," says Catrina Russell, geoscientist and education coordinator with Stonehammer Geopark.
"He discovered these stromatolites here and at the time, they were the oldest evidence of life in the entire world," says Russell.
Matt Stimson is the assistant curator of paleontology at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, and says that stromatolites are buildups of algae and cyanobacteria that typically grow in shallow, warm, and humid marine environments.
"There’s only one locality on the planet today, Shark Bay, Australia, where stromatolites are still living and growing today," says Stimson. "So they’re a living fossil, they’re still around."
Dominion Park is one of the 60 geosites within the Stonehammer Geopark, which is a region recognized by UNESCO as having ‘exceptional geological heritage.’
The park stretches throughout the southern New Brunswick region, including 2500 square kilometres of land.
"The geopark is so spectacular,” says Russell. "And it’s actually the first geopark recognized in all of North America and one of only two UNESCO sites in New Brunswick."
A new interactive exhibition of the Natur-& Geopark Mëllerdall has opened in the village of Beaufort, Luxembourg which includes something in the centre called the ‘Wall of Geoparks.’ It features examples of stones from geoparks all around the world – including a stromalotite fossil from Dominion Park.
"They’re working towards getting more … and hopefully being able to represent all 169 geoparks that there are in the world," says Russell.
"It’s also helping them to achieve their goal of becoming a UNESCO global geopark."
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