Prospecting for New Dinosaur Sites


In early July the PRPRC palaeontologists went into the field, again with helicopter support from DGG Veritas, to conduct a systematic aerial and ground search for potential sites for future dinosaur discoveries.

This effort produced results within a month with the discovery of a site that would yield British Columbia's first articulated and most complete dinosaur to date.

Lisa Buckley exits a helicopter to look for evidence of dinosaurs in remote areas in the Peace Region

 

Visiting Research Dr. Federico Fanti (Italy) and Lisa Buckley examine rock exposures for fossils.

 

No dinosaur bones, but plenty of clams (unionids).

 

A decent-sized impression of a fossil tree in coarse sandstone.

 

Excavating a small piece of in situ dinosaur bone found during a prospecting trip (the bone is to the right of the chisel being tapped with a rock hammer). It is not terribly difficult to find dinosaur bone, but it is very difficult to find a concentration of bones that is worthwhile expending valuable time and resources to excavate.

 

PRPRC technician Tammy Pigeon examines a large number of bone fragments from a site found a few days earlier by PRPRC palaeontologists.

 

Over 100kg of bone were surface collected from a 10 metre wide front of an eroding hillside. From the many fragments a few were found to be diagnostic enough to let identify the remains of at least one, large duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur), a plant-eating dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous or approximately 74 million years ago. An excavation of this site would be mounted in the following years.