National Treasure #15: Thrombolites

Say what?  Yes, thrombolites.  After all, if the ancestors of these tiny Canadians hadn’t been on the job, I’d hate to consider the consequences.  Well, I wouldn’t be here to consider the consequences.

Hundreds of millions of years ago the ancestors of thrombolites and stromatolites produced the oxygen in the atmosphere that is required for life as we know it. – Wikipedia

Before seeing these in the flesh, as it were, I’d never heard of them.  And you can see how you might pass them by . . .

Gray rock-like structures that are actually microbial organisms.

. . . at least without the interpretive sign.

Interpretive sign at site of thrombolites.

It isn’t every day that you see a formal sign referring to “unicellular critters,” but the distinctively Newfoundland mode of expression will, I’m sure, be the topic of another entry in this list.  Today, we’re sticking to ancient forms of microbial organisms, and rare ones at that.  But, hurray!  You don’t have to go all the way to Australia to see these, just to Flower’s Cove on the west coast of Newfoundland.


This is one of a series on Canadian national treasures – my sesquicentennial project. They reflect people (living and dead), places and things that I think are worth celebrating about our country, and are done in no order of precedence.

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2 Comments

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Barbara – Well, geology has some interesting and pretty bits (minerals, anyone?) but the discipline doesn’t do much for me, either, except in small isolated bits like this.

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