Virtual museum of Canada
Collections from Storage: A Visit to our Hidden Treasures

Dawn Redwood

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Just think! This piece of wood is more than 40 million years old! In contrast to what we see more often, this fossil is not hardened like stone, but rather mummified; over the course of time, it retained its organic matter as it dried. The Canadian Conservation Institute was called upon to stabilize it to preserve it.

It is a fragment of Metasequoia from Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut. It is a witness from a period that was much warmer than today, when the forests stretched from one pole to another. This was when the first mammals appeared.

This specimen was donated by Mr. Marcel Masse, a politician who worked at the provincial and federal levels between 1966 and 1993.

The mummified fragment of this Dawn Redwood retains its woody appearance.

Credits : Musée de la nature et des sciences, Sherbrooke

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