Year in Review: 2018 Highlights

As we approach a new year, we’re looking back on a few of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology’s many 2018 highlights – with grateful thanks to everyone who supports our work!


Dinosaur Hall.

In 2018

  • The Royal Tyrrell Museum welcomed more than 450,000 visitors.
  • Delivered public programs to over 35,000 participants.
  • Presented over 1000 school programs to almost 30,000 students.
  • Delivered 185 programs remotely to over 6000 participants through our Distance Learning Studio.
  • Launched our Royal Tyrrell Museum gallery tour app in six languages.

Daspletosaurus torosus on display in Fossils in Focus.

At the Museum

  • The exploded skull of Daspletosaurus torosus went on display in February. This was the first time we 3D-printed a specimen cast for display, and was one of the most complex mounting projects we have undertaken.
  • Our Palaeozoic Era exhibit reopened in July with new specimens to highlight the diversity of animal life 514 – 252 million years ago.
  • Regaliceratops (‘Hellboy’) returned to display in a new, permanent home in Dinosaur Hall.
  • Our photographic exhibit Perspectives reopened, featuring scientific illustrations.
  • Fossils in Focus was refreshed in October, featuring a number of new discoveries that give us a stronger understanding of ancient Alberta’s diversity of animal life.
  • Started construction on the interior of our expansion.

Transporting a hadrosaur skull collected near the Museum.

In the Field

  • Collected around 2000 specimens in the 2018 field season, including fossil pollen, plants, mammals, dinosaurs, marine reptiles, and more.
  • Discovered a lost ankylosaur (armoured dinosaur) quarry in Dinosaur Provincial Park.
  • Collected a plesiosaur from a Syncrude Canada mine near Fort MacMurray, and a complete seven-metre mosasaur from a Korite mine near Lethbridge. Both specimens are marine reptiles.
  • Retrieved a partial ceratopsian frill that may give new insights into Wendiceratops.



Illustrations of the two isolated ceratopsid horncores analysed by Dr. Caleb Brown.

New Research

  • Dr. Caleb Brown analysed two isolated ceratopsid horncores, enhancing our understanding of the evolution of horned dinosaur cranial display structures.
  • Dr. Don Brinkman and Andrew Neuman were part of the team that identified two new fish species. The sandstone block containing these fishes is currently on display in Grounds for Discovery.
  • Dr. Donald Henderson was part of the team that published on why ankylosaurs are preserved upside-down in North America.
  • Dr. Don Brinkman was part of the team that identified a new species of Basilemys turtle. This specimen was described more than 90 years after it was collected.
  • Dr. Craig Scott discovered a new species of multituberculate (a rodent-like mammal), Catopsalis kakwa.
  • Dr. Donald Henderson used three-dimensional, digital models to test whether Spinosaurus was specialized for a semi-aquatic mode of life. His findings suggest that it was not.
  • Dr. Craig Scott named a new family of mammals. His research provides insights into the evolutionary relationships of eutherian mammals.

Our Cooperating Society has supported numerous exhibits and research projects over the past 25 years.

Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society

  • Held our 13th annual Speaker Series, bringing free lectures about the latest in palaeontology to the public.
  • Our Cooperating Society celebrated its 25th anniversary! The Society has supported numerous exhibits, researchers, conferences, lectures, and events at the Museum.

Construction of the interior of our expansion started earlier this year.

Looking Forward to 2019

  • The Museum Shop will undergo renovations early in the new year.
  • Our expansion is opening in 2019! It will offer additional visitor amenities and enhanced spaces for educational programs and interactive learning.

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