Miettia salientensis

550,000,000 BCE
RBCM.EH 2010.003.0008
Scientific Name:
Miettia salientensis

Discovered in rocks of the ancient Ediacaran Period near Mount Robson BC, these fossilized remains represent the oldest known life-form in our province about 550 million years ago.

The Miettia creature lived in the ocean off the coast of ancient North America at the time the continent ended at the BC-Alberta border. At this time, animals had yet to evolve hard body parts, such as shells. It is not known what kind of creature this was, or whether perhaps it was even a plant or trace left by an animal with different form.

This fossil and associated specimens were collected in the late 1990s, and described and donated to the museum by Dr Hans Hoffman in 2010.

When described in 2010, Miettia was not known to occur anywhere else in the world. This and other specimens collected with it were placed in the collections of the Royal BC Museum so that other experts worldwide could study it, and compare it to future finds.

This object selected by Dr Richard Hebda.