Anticosti

Anticosti
Situated on the island of Anticosti, the largest island in Quebec, this property is the most complete and best preserved palaeontological record of the first mass extinction of animal life, 447-437 million years ago. It contains the best preserved fossil record of marine life covering 10 million years of Earth history. The abundance, diversity, and exquisite preservation of the fossils are exceptional and allow for world-class scientific work. Thousands of large bedding surfaces allow the observation and study of shell and sometimes soft-bodied animals that lived on the shallow sea floor of an ancient tropical sea.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Anticosti
Situé sur l’île d’Anticosti, la plus grande île du Québec, ce bien constitue l’enregistrement paléontologique le plus complet et le mieux préservé de la première extinction massive de vie animale, il y a 447-437 millions d’années. Il comprend le témoignage fossile le plus complet de la vie marine, couvrant 10 millions d’années de l’histoire de la Terre. L’abondance, la diversité et l’état de conservation des fossiles sont exceptionnels et permettent un travail scientifique de classe mondiale. Des milliers de grandes surfaces de litage permettent d’observer et d’étudier les animaux à coquille, et parfois à corps mou, qui vivaient dans les fonds marins peu profonds d’une ancienne mer tropicale.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

أونتيكوستي
يوجد هذا الموقع في جزيرة أنتيكوستي، وهي أكبر جزيرة في كيبك، وتُعتبر بمثابة سجل أحفوري كامل متكامل لأول انقراض جماعي للحياة الحيوانية، منذ 447-437 مليون سنة، وحوفظ عليه على أفضل وجه. ويحتوي الموقع على أفضل سجل أحفوري محفوظ للحياة البحرية على مدار 10 ملايين سنة من تاريخ الأرض. تعتبر وفرة الحفريات وتنوعها والنحو المُتقن الذي حوفظ به عليها أمراً استثنائياً يتيح إجراء بحوث علمية على مستوى العالم. وتتيح الآلاف من الأسطح الكبيرة مراقبة ودراسة قشرة الأسطح وأحياناً الرخويات التي عاشت في قاع البحار الضحلة لبحر استوائي قديم.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

安蒂科斯蒂
该遗产位于魁北克省最大的岛屿安蒂科斯蒂岛上,保存着首次大规模动物灭绝(4.47-4.37亿年前)最齐全且最完好的古生物学记录,包含横跨1千万年地球历史的保存最完好的海洋生物化石记录。其化石数量之多、种类之丰富、状态之完美无与伦比,可供世界级科学研究之用。成千上万的大型沉积面可供我们观察和研究古代热带浅海底部的贝壳和部分软体动物。

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Антикости
Расположенный на острове Антикости, самом большом острове Квебека, этот объект представляет собой наиболее полную и хорошо сохранившуюся палеонтологическую летопись первого массового вымирания животного мира 447-437 млн. лет назад. Он содержит наиболее хорошо сохранившиеся окаменелости морских обитателей, охватывающие 10 млн. лет истории Земли. Обилие, разнообразие и прекрасная сохранность окаменелостей являются исключительными и позволяют проводить научные работы мирового уровня. Тысячи крупных подстилающих поверхностей позволяют наблюдать и изучать раковинных, а иногда и мягкотелых животных, обитавших на мелководном дне древнего тропического моря.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Anticosti
Situada en la isla de Anticosti, la mayor de Quebec, esta extensión constituye el registro paleontológico más completo y mejor conservado de la primera extinción masiva de vida animal, ocurrida hace 447-437 millones de años. Contiene el registro fósil mejor conservado de la vida marina, que abarca diez millones de años de la historia de la Tierra. La abundancia, diversidad y óptima conservación de los fósiles son excepcionales y permiten realizar trabajos científicos de primer orden. Miles de grandes superficies de yacencias permiten la observación y el estudio de conchas y, en ocasiones, de animales de cuerpo blando que vivieron en el fondo marino poco profundo de un antiguo mar tropical.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Anticosti © Pascal Bernatchez
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Anticosti is a stratigraphic and fossiliferous site of worldwide importance with an exceptionally well preserved, abundant and diverse fossil fauna. Anticosti is the largest stratigraphic record in thickness and the most complete and best preserved palaeontological record representing the first mass extinction of animal life on a global scale, 447-437 million years ago. The property and buffer zone are located within protected areas that are free of any industrial activity.

The property is situated on the island of Anticosti, the largest island in Quebec at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada. The area of the property is 18,240 hectares with a buffer zone of 89,740 hectares, together covering nearly 14% of the total area of Anticosti Island. Both the property and buffer zone are situated on the Nitassinans or territories claimed by the Innu communities of Ekuanitshit and Nutashkuan who have both provided their consent to the inscription of the property.  

Criterion (viii): Anticosti is the best natural laboratory in the world for the study of fossils and sedimentary strata from the first mass extinction of life, at the end of the Ordovician period, which represents an important milestone in the history of Earth. It contains the largest stratigraphic record in thickness and the most complete, and best-preserved fossil record of marine life covering 10 million years of Earth history, from the Upper Ordovician to the Lower Silurian, 447-437 million years ago. The abundance, diversity, and state of conservation of the fossils are exceptional and allow for world-class scientific work.

Thousands of large bedding surfaces allow the observation and study of shell and sometimes soft-bodied animals that lived on the shallow sea floor of an ancient tropical sea. These animals were buried by the continual passage of strong storms, which completely preserved the organisms and the ecological structure of the ancient marine communities. The exquisite preservation of the fossil shells allows the analysis of their geochemical composition to identify ancient climatic and oceanographic signals, and to study in depth the causes of the mass extinction of life at the end of the Ordovician period.

Integrity

The fossiliferous strata included within the boundaries of the property have all the attributes to bear full witness to the first mass extinction of life on Earth. The property includes all coastal outcrops extending from low tide to cliff top for nearly 550 kilometres and outcrops along the Vaureal and Jupiter rivers respectively. Natural erosion plays an important role as the retreat of the cliffs uncovers new fossil horizons and serves to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value in the long term. Whilst the vast majority of the millions of fossils are found in-situ on the bedding surfaces of rocks within the property, ex-situ fossils are also found in the collections of major museums around the world, and these collections outside the property are accessible to researchers from all over the world and help to enhance the understanding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

Protection and management requirements

The property and its buffer zone benefit from strong and long-term legal protection. They are part of a network of publicly owned protected areas managed by the Quebec provincial government, free from any industrial activity, and there are no permanent residents in the property or its buffer zone. The prospect of new developments in or near the property and its buffer zone is minimal, and any potential development will be subject to strict guidelines. The Natural Heritage Conservation Act and the Quebec Parks Act ensure the protection and maintenance of all stratigraphic and palaeontological attributes essential to the full expression of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property as well as the island’s biological diversity, with additional protection ensured by the buffer zone.

The Permanent Biodiversity Reserve covers 94.3% of the property and was designed to protect the island’s geological heritage and biodiversity. The remaining areas of the property are covered by Anticosti National Park and the Ecological Reserves of Pointe-Heath and Grand-Lac-Salé. The buffer zone of the property is also covered by the Biodiversity Reserve, the National Park and the Ecological Reserves. A legal mechanism has been established to enable future boundary adjustments to accommodate natural changes.

The management team established by the Quebec provincial government enforces protective legislation, carries out day-to-day management activities and monitors natural factors and human activities threatening the property and its buffer zone. The management is guided by the property’s management plan, which includes measurable objectives. A community committee ensures that local and indigenous concerns and knowledge are integrated into management and conservation. A scientific committee supports the management board of the property.

Information panels inform the public of the need to respect the geological heritage and the tight restrictions on collecting fossils, enforceable by the management team on the property. The protection measures for the geological heritage stipulate it cannot be sampled, altered, or painted. In certain sectors, visitors may collect a few small samples that have been naturally eroded and are no longer in-situ.