Dinosaur Tracks From Kakwa Provincial Park


B.C. Parks and their palaeontology advisory committee asked PRPRC palaeontologists to make an assessment of an in situ dinosaur track site within the boundaries of Kakwa Provincial Park. The site had been discovered by hunters several years previous and was eventually reported to B.C. Parks who were eager to understand the scope and significance of the site.

The five day trip was organized by B.C. Parks who sent two of their staff into the site to accompany and assist Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley. The results of this survey were given to B.C. Parks to assist them with the management this site.

This tracksite is found in the Gorman Creek Formation whose sediments were deposited in the Early Cretaceous, approximately 130 million years ago. Tracks from the Gorman Creek Formation and equivalent strata are among the oldest record of terrestrial vertebrates in Western Canada. The skeletal record for the Lower Cretaceous of western Canada is sparse to non-existent, so tracks are useful for filling this temporal gap.

 

A portion of the main track surface viewed from a helicopter. Note that the large three toed tracks (from large theropods) are approximately 55cm in length.

 

A trackway of very large ankylosaur tracks on the upper surface. Note the smaller series of tracks in the background.

 

Rich McCrea using ropes to access the steep track surface.