On October 1st, a backhoe operator working at a site near Spirit River moved some earth and exposed what would be revealed to be a beautifully preserved tail section of a hadrosaur.
A team of experts from the Royal Tyrrell Museum were sent to examine the find yesterday. The words “phenomenal” and “beautiful” have been reported in connection with this find; a tail section from duck billed herbivorous dinosaur that would have died during the Upper Cretaceous Period. (Read more in the Edmonton Journal and from CBC News, with a picture.) More pictures here. The discovery is making headlines as far away as Africa this morning.
Some sources are reporting this find as being 30 metres, or 100 feet long, but since hadrosaurs are not among the longest dinosaurs (think long necks: Seismosaurus and Diplodocus) and since the picture shows a fossil about 3 metres long, we can safely assume that the Spirit River discovery isn’t quite so earth shaking as a 100 foot beast!
Paleontologists will work to remove the fossil to the Tyrrell Museum for careful study.
People are being asked to stay away from the site. There is heavy equipment working and the pressure is on to get the fossil on its way to Drumheller before the weather becomes disagreeable. Also, Tourmaline Oil Corp. has been solicitous in helping to remove the fossil, but their own work must commence as soon as possible.
In August, the B.C. Peace was in the news as the most complete dinosaur skeleton ever found in the province was removed for study after five years of sedulous excavation. Hopes are high that there is a bone bed in the area, since hadrosaurs lived in large groups. For pictures and an article on the Tumbler Ridge find, follow the link to CTV news.