Dr. Donald Henderson finds first evidence of iguanodontids in Alberta

If you could invent a time machine and hop back 140 million years, to the earliest part of the Cretaceous Period, you would likely see at least one basal iguanodontidian or “iguanodontid.” These ornithischian dinosaurs (the group including ankylosaurs, stegosaurs, horned dinosaurs, and duck-billed dinosaurs) lived all around the globe. The basal iguanodontidians were those at … Continue reading Dr. Donald Henderson finds first evidence of iguanodontids in Alberta

Speaker Series 2017: Discovery, Geological Context and Challenges of Dating a New Hominin, Homo naledi, from the Rising Star Cave, South Africa

The discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of hominin (the group encompassing modern humans, extinct human species, and all close human ancestors) was announced in September 2015. Found in a deep, nearly inaccessible cave system, this was the largest concentration of hominin bones ever found in Africa. The unusual distribution of bones suggested symbolic … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: Discovery, Geological Context and Challenges of Dating a New Hominin, Homo naledi, from the Rising Star Cave, South Africa

Media Release: Industrial finds unearth palaeontological past

May 12, 2017 A new exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology welcomes Albertans to discover spectacular fossil finds from across the province. As one of the best places in the world for fossil preservation and discovery, Alberta is an exciting window into prehistoric life. The museum’s new exhibit, Grounds for Discovery, showcases some of … Continue reading Media Release: Industrial finds unearth palaeontological past

Speaker Series 2017: Ecological Opportunity and Adaptive Radiation of Fanged Frogs in Southeast Asia

Adaptive radiation is when a group of animals evolve into different forms to fill different roles in their environment. In his talk, Dr. Ben Evans, McMaster University, provides evidence for an example of an adaptive radiation; the fanged frogs of Southeast Asia. Different species of fanged frogs have unique characteristics, including body size and reproductive … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: Ecological Opportunity and Adaptive Radiation of Fanged Frogs in Southeast Asia

Speaker Series 2017: Snakes of Alberta

Alberta is home to six native species of snakes. They include the venomous prairie rattlesnake, the bull snake (that can grow up to two metres long), and the western hog-nosed snake that rolls over and plays dead when frightened. Snakes are feared and misunderstood by most of the human population and this can lead to … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: Snakes of Alberta

Speaker Series 2017: Mass Extinctions, Ray-Finned Fishes, and the Closing of Romer’s Gap

The actinopterygians, or ray-finned fishes, are a substantial and significant component of modern vertebrate (animals with backbones) diversity. Ray-finned fishes are bony and have paired fins that are supported by rays (the actinosts) that insert directly in the body. Examples of modern ray-finned fishes include trout, eels, and bettas. Despite their prevalence today, the early … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: Mass Extinctions, Ray-Finned Fishes, and the Closing of Romer’s Gap

Speaker Series 2017: Sharing Under the Cretaceous Sea: Global Distribution Achieved by Halisaurine Mosasaurs Explained by a New Discovery from Japan

Mosasaurs were large, flipper-bearing swimming lizards from the age of the last dinosaurs, about 100–66 million years ago. Typically reaching the size of a pickup truck in length—and some nearly twice as long—over 70 mosasaur species are reported today based on the fossils collected from all over the world. Out of this highly diverse assemblage, … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: Sharing Under the Cretaceous Sea: Global Distribution Achieved by Halisaurine Mosasaurs Explained by a New Discovery from Japan

Eggshells from the Willow Creek Formation show that dinosaurs were more diverse than previously thought at the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs in southwestern Alberta

Alberta is a great place for a dinosaur palaeontologist, with plenty of preserved skeletons and some of the best evidence for dinosaurs in the world. However, in the Willow Creek Formation of southwestern Alberta, which records the last few million years before the extinction of dinosaurs, only three kinds of dinosaur skeletons have been found: … Continue reading Eggshells from the Willow Creek Formation show that dinosaurs were more diverse than previously thought at the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs in southwestern Alberta

Speaker Series 2017: The Teeth They are a-Changin’: The Morphology, Disparity, and Evolution of Theropod Teeth in the Late Cretaceous of the Western Interior Basin

Non-avian theropods are among the closest extinct relatives to birds, but our understanding of their diversity, evolution, and extinction are greatly hampered by their incomplete fossil record. Isolated teeth from the Western Interior Basin, though, provide a continuous sample of these taxa through the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. In his talk, Larson … Continue reading Speaker Series 2017: The Teeth They are a-Changin’: The Morphology, Disparity, and Evolution of Theropod Teeth in the Late Cretaceous of the Western Interior Basin

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Palaeontology Fieldwork at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Part One

With the cold weather and the short days, it’s safe to say that most people are missing summer. For our palaeontologists though, the winter months are an important part of the research process. In summer, they go out in the field to dig up new specimens. Winter is the time for analyzing what they’ve collected, … Continue reading How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Palaeontology Fieldwork at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Part One