Climate Change: Life in a sunny marine lagoon on the Bruce Peninsula 425 mil years ago

by Dr. Peter von Bitter, Senior Curator Emeritus  Royal Ontario Museum

Dr. Peter Von Bitter gave us a tour from Hepworth to Wiarton.  The tour took place 425 million years ago in the Silurian period.  At that time  Bruce County was 15 degrees south of the equator.

He was very appreciative of the help given to him by Stone Masons and quarry owners, who over the years have become sensitive to his research.  Because he works with them in the field, they know him and now are active participants in his research.

Dr. Von Bitter talked about great number of species who had a long and very successful life on earth of more than 300,000,000 years.  Man and man's ancestors have been around for just 5 to 6 million years.

We gained insight into the thrills he obtains in finding new species.  He has had very special days.  He described one in detail. 

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He had been trying to find the source of some scales.  He knew the creature must exist who shed them and then on July 7, 2007 he found the oldest vertebrate in Ontario.  Some of his finds have changed the way science views the Silurian. 

He had us floating near Silurian Reefs and thinking about nearby tropical lagoons with creatures that had no jaws and processed their food with astounding little teeth.

It was a great lecture by a natural teacher and a world renowned scientist.

Please consider taking in the ongoing Chantry Island Institute Series.  For details see the Saugeen Times Event Planner