This fossil site is located at the south-eastern tip of the island of Newfoundland, in eastern Canada. It consists of a narrow, 17 km-long strip of rugged coastal cliffs. Of deep marine origin, these cliffs date to the Ediacaran Period (580-560 million years ago), representing the oldest known assemblages of large fossils anywhere. These fossils illustrate a watershed in the history of life on earth: the appearance of large, biologically complex organisms, after almost three billion years of micro-dominated evolution. © UNESCO
2020 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
An outstanding record of a critical milestone in the history of life on Earth “when life got big”
Darroch, S. A., Laflamme, M., & Wagner, P. J. (2018). High ecological complexity in benthic Ediacaran communities. Nature ecology & evolution, 2(10), 1541.
IUCN (2016). World Heritage Nomination – IUCN Technical Evaluation, Mistaken Point (Canada). In: IUCN World Heritage Evaluations 2016, IUCN Evaluations of nominations of natural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List. WHC/16/40.COM/INF.8B2. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Lyons, T. W., Droser, M. L., Lau, K. V., Porter, S. M., & Gehling, J. G. (2018). Ediacaran scavenging as a prelude to predation. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, 2(2), pp.213-222.
Matthews, J.J. and McIlroy, D. (2019). On the Adhesion of Sediment to Footwear and the Implications for Geoconservation. Geoheritage, 11(4), pp.1749-1756.
Matthews, J.J., Liu, A.G., Yang, C., McIlroy, D., Levell, B. and Condon, D.J. (2020). A chronostratigraphic framework for the rise of the Ediacaran macrobiota: New constraints from Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland. GSA Bulletin.
Mitchell, E. G., & Kenchington, C. G. (2018). The utility of height for the Ediacaran organisms of Mistaken Point. Nature ecology & evolution, 2(8), 1218.
Mitchell, E.G., Harris, S., Kenchington, C.G., Vixseboxse, P., Roberts, L., Clark, C., Dennis, A., Liu, A.G. and Wilby, P.R. (2019). The importance of neutral over niche processes in structuring Ediacaran early animal communities. Ecology letters, 22(12), pp.2028-2038.
Mitchell, E.G., Kenchington, C.G., Liu, A.G., Matthews, J.J. and Butterfield, N.J. (2015). Reconstructing the reproductive mode of an Ediacaran macro-organism. Nature, 524(7565), pp.343-346.
Newfoundland and Labrador Government. (2018). Minister Announces Appointments to New Mistaken Point World Heritage Advisory Council. [online] 15 October, Fisheries and Land Resources; Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. Available at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/flr/1015n02/ (Accessed 17 August 2020).
Newfoundland and Labrador Government. (2018b). Ministerial Statement – Mistaken Point World Heritage Site to be Featured at Royal Ontario Museum. [online] 19 November, Fisheries and Land Management. Available at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/flr/1119n06/ (Accessed 17 August 2020).
State Party of Canada. (2016). Nomination of Mistaken Point as a World Heritage Site. [online] Available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1497/documents/ (Accessed 17 August 2020).
World Heritage Committee. (2016). Decision 40 COM 8B.12 Mistaken Point Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (Canada). In: Decisions Adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th Session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 201&9. [online] Paris, France: UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Available at: <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6790>.