Geology and Fossils of Cape Enrage
The fossils at Cape Enrage are contained in the layers of sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period approximately 320 million years old. There is an abundance of plant trunk fossils that have been created by being washed downstream and trapped along the river channels in 'log jam-ups' along the sides of large river channels.
A diverse flora exists at the Cape Enrage site, with lowland plants, including beautifully preserved giant horsetail-like trees called Calamites, and classic lycopsid bark and roots. An abundance of frond stems with ropey bark textures and large branch knots are also well preserved at the site. Small invertebrate trackways are also present. These trackways have classically been assigned to millipedes, however horseshoe crabs may also produce similar traces.
The cliff section displays predominantly river-dominated sediments. Multiple sandstone and mudstone infilled river channels can be seen in cross-section, and where exposed, spectacular rippled surfaces can be found.
All fossils are protected by the Heritage Conservation Act. It stipulates that any fossil discovered in the province must not be destroyed or removed from site where they are found without the required permit.
Cape Enrage interpretive Center has an amateur paleontologist permit. Collection of loose specimens is permitted by the cape enrage staff for learning purposes. This permit is also intended to offer surveillance of the fossil site for new and important fossils that may be of importance to the New Brunswick Museum. All collected fossils are catalogued and examined by the Heritage Inspector.