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Fossil Location Added to World Heritage Natural Wonders list

Eight New Natural Wonders Named 

Eight new natural wonders, including the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere
Reserve in Mexico and what has been dubbed "the Galápagos of the Indian
Ocean," have been added to the World Heritage List.

World Heritage Sites are named by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The sites, both cultural and
natural, added to the list are deemed "of outstanding value to humanity"
and deserve protection and preservation, according to the UNESCO Web site.

With the new additions, the World Heritage List now boasts 878 sites (679
cultural, 174 natural and 25 mixed) in 145 countries. The eight new natural
sites added this year include:

Joggins Fossil Cliffs (Canada) 
Mount Sanqingshan National Park (China) 
Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France) 
Surtsey (Iceland) 
Saryarka - Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan) 
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Mexico) 
Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona (Switzerland) 
Socotra Archipelago (Yemen)

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs have also drawn a comparison to the diverse
Pacific Islands made famous by Charles Darwin's work, as they are sometimes
called "the Coal Age Galápagos." The cliffs are considered to be an
excellent reference site to the Coal Age (about 300 million years ago). The
rocks there bear witness to the first reptiles in Earth's history and
preserve upright fossil trees.

"This is a fascinating site where you can literally see a slice of
history," said Tim Badman, World Heritage advisor of IUCN's Protected Areas
 (for more of this article see: 

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