A Dinosaur Under Troubled Water

In 2013, the worst flood in Alberta occurred, wreaking $1.7 billion in damage to 32 separate communities including Calgary, and killing four people. It was a horrific event, and one that lacks any kind of measurable silver lining. Except, maybe, to paleontology.

Last August, a father and son fishing in the Castle River, west of Lethbridge, discovered a 1133 kilo bolder with exposed fossils inside. Last month, after a year of study on location, the stone was removed to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Canada's premiere dinosaur research facility. The initial study of the fossil - now believed to be an intact hadrosaur skull - is that it dates back 80 million years and may well belong to a new species. These are, however, preliminary findings, and subject to further and more extensive study now that the specimen is in the lab.

Dr. Donald Henderson, curator of Tyrrell, is excited about the prospects this find has for dinosaur research in Alberta. While the area of Drumheller, in the middle of the province, is one of the best fossil beds in the world, comparatively few fossils are found in the south, nearer to the Montana border. Henderson hopes this discovery means that is about to change. Despite the 200 metres near the discovery site being scoured for further indication of bone fragments, none were found. Henderson believes the stone was shifted during the extreme water conditions during the flood. Lending credence to this notion were the discoveries of other, minor fossil remains made in neighbouring river systems over the course of the summer.

It would be nice if something of value came out of the misery of that flooding, and personally I feel that the discovery of an entirely new species falls firmly in the category of valuable.

Via CBC.
Share on Google Plus

About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


Post a Comment