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Miguasha National Park

Miguasha National Park

The palaeontological site of Miguasha National Park, in south-eastern Quebec on the southern coast of the Gaspé peninsula, is considered to be the world's most outstanding illustration of the Devonian Period known as the 'Age of Fishes'. Dating from 370 million years ago, the Upper Devonian Escuminac Formation represented here contains five of the six fossil fish groups associated with this period. Its significance stems from the discovery there of the highest number and best-preserved fossil specimens of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-breathing terrestrial vertebrates – the tetrapods.

Parc national de Miguasha

Situé dans la région du Québec méridional, sur la côte sud-ouest de la péninsule gaspésienne, le parc national de Miguasha est un site paléontologique remarquable, considéré comme la meilleure illustration de la période du dévonien ou « âge des poissons ». Datée de 370 millions d'années, la formation d'Escuminac, dévonien supérieur, renferme cinq des six groupes de poissons fossiles associés à cette période. L'importance de ce site tient au fait qu'on y trouve la plus grande concentration de spécimens fossiles de poissons à nageoires charnues – en état exceptionnel de conservation – qui sont les ancêtres des premiers vertébrés terrestres respirant de l'air : les tétrapodes.

منتزه ميغواشا الوطني

يقع منتزه ميغواشا الوطني في منطقة الكيبيك الجنوبي، على ضفاف الساحل الجنوبي الغربي لشبه جزيرة غاسبيه، ويشكّل موقعاً إحاثياً هائلاً لعلّه النموذج الأفضل عن العصر الديفوني أو "عصر الأسماك". وتضم سلسلة الإيسكوميناك، من العصر الديفوني الأعلى، والتي ترقى إلى 370 مليون سنة، خمس من أصل ست فصائل من الأسماك الأحفورية المرتبطة بتلك الحقبة. وتكمن أهمية هذا الموقع في وجود أكبر تجمّع للعيّنات الأحفورية من الأسماك ذات الزعانف اللحمية-التي لا تزال في حالة إستثنائية- وتمثّل أسلاف الفقريات الأرضية الأولى التي تتنشق الهواء وهي الرباعية القوائم.

source: UNESCO/ERI

米瓜莎公园

米瓜莎古公园坐落在魁北克东南部加斯普半岛(the Gaspé peninsula)南部的海岸上,是一处古生物学遗址,被认为是世界上关于泥盆纪“鱼类时代”(Age of Fishes)最著名的化石遗址。晚泥盆世的鱼化石共有六种,这里地层中就有五种,可追溯到3.7亿年前。公园的重要性在于这里有大量保存完好的鱼石螈的化石标本。鱼石螈是第一种进化为四条腿、呼吸空气的陆地脊椎动物四足动物。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Провинциальный парк Мигуаша

В юго-восточной части провинции Квебек на южном побережье полуострова Гаспе расположена уникальная местность, предоставляющая редчайшие палеонтологические свидетельства девонского периода, известного как «Эра рыб». Имеющие возраст 370 млн. лет отложения верхнего девона содержат остатки пяти групп ископаемых рыб – из шести, относящихся к данному периоду. Главное значение этих находок состоит в том, что они включают самое значительное число хорошо сохранившихся окаменелых остатков кистеперых рыб, от которых произошли тетраподы – первые наземные позвоночные.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Parque Nacional de Miguasha

Situado en la región del Quebec meridional, en la costa suroeste de la pení­nsula gaspesiana, el parque de Miguasha es un importante sitio paleontológico, considerado como el mejor ejemplo del perí­odo devónico o "Edad de los Peces". La formación de Escuminac, que data del Devónico Superior (370 millones años atrí¡s), contiene cinco de los seis grupos de peces fósiles de este perí­odo. La importancia de este sitio radica en que posee la mayor concentración de especí­menes fósiles de peces con aletas carnosas, en un excelente estado de conservación. Esos peces son los antecesores de los primeros vertebrados terrestres que respiraban aire: los tetrí¡podos.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ミグアシャ国立公園

source: NFUAJ

Nationaal park Miguasha

Het nationaal park Miguasha ligt in het zuidoosten van Quebec aan de zuidelijke kust van het schiereiland Gaspé. De paleontologische omgeving van het nationaal park wordt beschouwd als ’s werelds meest bijzondere illustratie van het Devoon, de geologische periode die bekendstaat als het ‘tijdperk van de vissen’. De Escuminac rotsformatie uit het Boven-Devoon dateert van zo’n 370 miljoen jaar geleden en bevat zes van de acht fossiele vissoorten uit deze periode. De vondst is belangrijk omdat er best bewaard gebleven fossielen van kwastvinnige vissen gevonden zijn, de voorlopers van de eerst viervoetige, gewervelde landdieren met longen, de tetrapoden.

Source: unesco.nl

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Miguasha National Park © Neumeier
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (viii): In its representation of vertebrate life, Miguasha is the most outstanding fossil site in the world for illustrating the Devonian as the “Age of Fishes”. The area is of paramount importance in having the greatest number and best preserved fossil specimens found anywhere in the world of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-breathing terrestrial vertebrates - the tetrapodes.

Long Description

The palaeontological site of Miguasha National Park, in south-eastern Quebec on the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula, is considered to be the world's most outstanding illustration of the Devonian period known as the 'Age of Fishes'.

Dating from 370 million years ago, the Upper Devonian Escuminac Formation represented here contains six of the eight fossil fish groups associated with this period. Its significance stems from the discovery of the highest number and best-preserved fossil specimens of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-breathing terrestrial vertebrates - the tetrapods.

This 1 km wide formation extends for a distance of 8 km along the north shore of the Ristigouche River. The formation, extending 300-600 m underground, is represented by four distinct outcrops. The most important of these extends for a distance of 3 km and basically constitutes the park. Constituted essentially of grey rock sediments, the Escuminac Formation (dating from 350-375 million years ago) is composed of alternating layers of thick sandstone, silt and calcareous schists. The Fleurant Formation is found at the base of the Formation, while the summit is lined by the carboniferous Bonaventure Formation, whose reddish colour is the origin of the word Miguasha in the language of the Micmacs.

The flora and fauna fossils of Miguasha are particularly important in representing ichthyological fauna (fishes) of the Devonian period. Of the eight groups attached to this period, also known as the 'Age of Fishes', six are found at Miguasha, the other two being typically marine; this representation is uncommon among sites of the same age throughout the world. The site is also distinguished by invertebrates, plants and spore fossils (over 70 spore species) which, along with geochemical studies, have allowed a picture of the Devonian ecosystem to be constructed. Furthermore, the site is characterized by the exceptional condition of fossil remains, allowing, for example, study of soft body parts represented in gill imprints, digestive traces and cartilaginous elements of skeleton. Of particular importance is the presence of the crossopterygian group, typified by Eusthenopteron foordi and Elpistostege watsoni. Nicknamed the 'Prince of Miguasha', the Eusthenopteron, which share many characteristics with the tetrapods, have largely resulted in the focused attention of the international scientific community on the Escuminac Formation. Indeed, it was the discovery and study of Eusthenopteron which notably gave rise to the modern conception of evolution from fish to terrestrial tetrapod vertebrates.

Following taxa present an evolutive and phylogenetic interest: Archaeopteris belongs to Gymnosperma, Spermasposita is considered as the oldest flowering plant, while Petaloscorpio is the first terrestrial scorpion. The macroflora includes 10 species belonging to the first vascular plants of Devonian forests, and the microflora is composed of 80 spore species.

For more than a century, the flora and fauna fossils of Miguasha have been recognized as unique, manifest by the large numbers of scientists and collectors from Europe and America who have visited the Escuminac Formation. The site is particularly important in representing ichthyological fauna (fishes) of the Devonian period.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC