The Blue Beach Fossil Museum collection comes mainly from the nearby beach, where new fossils are constantly being exposed by twice-daily Bay of Fundy tides.

The most productive way to find and recover the fossils is to take frequent surveys along the beach, waiting for fossils to become naturally-exposed, rather than chipping at the rocks. The best fossils are few and far between, so lots of walking is the recommended practice. Every visit to the beach can thus yield new material – sometimes quite spectacular.

Besides recovering loose specimens from along the shore, our work includes the close monitoring of the bedrock layers in the cliff and beach platform. Fossils found in these beds are said to be in-situ, and are especially because this allows for a far greater understanding of the context of its past life forms.

A set of footprints exposed in the inter-tidal zone. If someone does not collect these fossils,
they will be claimed by the sea.

The discovery of new and interesting fossil beds (or ‘horizons’) within the layers continues to add to our knowledge of Blue Beach. For example, by the year 2000 the fossil record only documented 3 known-horizons said to contain the famous footprints, (this based on three specimens). The BBFM fieldwork has now identified the existence of over 70 footprint-bearing ‘horizons’, these recorded by a collection of nearly 2000 specimens as of late 2011.

This is the largest collection of Carboniferous footprints ever assembled, over 3 times larger than the next big collection…

An exposed section of strata now known to contain up to 6 more layers of undescribed tracks.

Largest Carboniferous track collections:
- (Blue Beach, Nova Scotia about 2000 specimens, 350 mya.)
- (Union Chapel Mine, Alabama about 600 specimens, 300 mya.)
- (Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania about 500 specimens, 335 mya.)

The footprints are becoming very well understood, but other fossils like the bones of the various ancient creatures and fishes, the shelly remains of invertebrates, or well-preserved plants, are much less completely known. The most important discoveries our fieldwork can provide are the bones belonging to the track-makers, or tetrapods. The ‘Holy Grail’ of our research is to reconstruct a picture and understanding of these tetrapods. In any measure, our success in piecing together the record of ancient Blue Beach will depend upon the fossils we continue to find.