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!

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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.
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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.
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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.

 

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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.
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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.
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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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