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The ‘Fern Ledges’, Saint John, New Brunswick

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Colour photograph of layers of rocks jutting out of the beach on the shore
photograph: The ‘Fern Ledges’, Saint John, New Brunswick, 2004. New Brunswick Museum. Layers of sandstone and shale at the classic Fern Ledges site in west Saint John. Fred Hartt first studied these rocks in 1860. The Fern Ledges gained its name from the plant fossils first described by the Steinhammer Club and William Dawson in the 1860s. The environment was a coastal plain whose braided channels drained into shallow brackish water. Shrubby cordaitaleans, early conifer-like plants, and extinct seed ferns dominated coastal vegetation. True ferns, sphenopsids like Calamites, and lycopod trees were rare.