Localities of the Vendian:

The Winter Coast of Russia

White Sea shoreline

During the summers of 1993 and 1994, UC graduate students Ben Waggoner and Allen Collins visited the Winter Coast Region of Russia to examine rocks containing the richest Vendian fossils in the world. During the summer of 1993, these two researchers were joined by professor Jere Lipps and a team of American volunteers, in conjunction with Dr. Mikhail A. Fedonkin and a team of Russian scientists from the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Ben and Allen returned during the summer of 1994 with three Russian scientists to carry out further research.

In order to get to the Winter Coast region which is approximately 65 degrees north latitude, these intrepid researchers travelled 24 hours north by train out of Moscow to the city of Archangelsk. Moscow is a city which is already as far north as Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. Archangelsk is a city with over a million people. From there, the trip continued by ship. During 1993, the ship ride was nine hours long, but Ben and Allen had it considerably better in 1994 when they travelled by hover craft. That trip took less than three hours.

The object of the visit was to find fossils, but what do you think it was like to actually be there?

  1. If you were there, you would have to make camp.
  2. You would have to hike to, and up, steep cliffs.
  3. And, you would have to look in the cliffs for your fossils.

UCMP Special Exhibit: Vendian Animals
Ben Waggoner collected a number of interesting fossils while visiting the White Sea. You can learn about these in his exhibit.

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