Two kinds of insects and a freshwater sponge are found nowhere but on Sable Island. Some biologists think these animals survived on the Sable Island Bank during the Ice Age, when the rest of their kind perished under the glaciers.

This is a controversial idea. There is geological evidence that the Sable Island Bank was flooded after the glaciers melted. If the island formed since then, it could not have been a refuge during the Ice Age.
Two kinds of insects and a freshwater sponge are found nowhere but on Sable Island. Some biologists think these animals survived on the Sable Island Bank during the Ice Age, when the rest of their kind perished under the glaciers.

This is a controversial idea. There is geological evidence that the Sable Island Bank was flooded after the glaciers melted. If the island formed since then, it could not have been a refuge during the Ice Age.

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001. All Rights Reserved

Freshwater sponge

Heteromeyenia macounii

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
Sable Island Preservation Trust

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001. All Rights Reserved


Agrotis arenarius

The origin of these unique species is a mystery.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001. All Rights Reserved


Pyrrhalta sablensis

The origin of these unique species is a mystery.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
Sable Island Preservation Trust

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001. All Rights Reserved


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Become aware of the controversy around the freshwater sponge and the two different types of insects that are only found on Sable Island.

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