Speaker Series 2018: Fossils of Mongolia

Dinosaurs were first discovered in Mongolia in the early 20th Century by expeditions led by Roy Chapman Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History. This set off a great rush to find Asian dinosaurs, and multiple international expeditions discovered a treasure-trove of new dinosaur sites. Despite the long history of fossil collecting in Mongolia, … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: Fossils of Mongolia

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New Species of Turtle Named in Honour of Community Where it Was Discovered

New research by Dr. Jordan Mallon, Canadian Museum of Nature, and Dr. Don Brinkman, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, introduces a new species of Basilemys turtle, Basilemys morrinensis. The species name honours the village of Morrin, Alberta for its role in the discovery of the specimen. Basilemys was a large, terrestrial turtle over one metre … Continue reading New Species of Turtle Named in Honour of Community Where it Was Discovered

Speaker Series 2018: Ice Age Horses of the American West

Horses are icons of the American West and have a connection back to the last ice age. Native to North America, horses have been key players in ancient ecosystems for over fifty million years, and were mainstays of large mammal communities throughout the last ice age. Due to this success, Pleistocene horse fossils are abundant … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: Ice Age Horses of the American West

Speaker Series 2018: The World’s Best Preserved Armoured Dinosaur

In the spring of 2017, a new armoured dinosaur was publically unveiled with the opening of the exhibit Grounds for Discovery. Borealopelta markmitchelli was discovered in the oil sands mines in northern Alberta in 2011 and took nearly 6 years to prepare. Borealopelta is the best-preserved ankylosaur (tank-like, herbivorous dinosaurs) in the world and one … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: The World’s Best Preserved Armoured Dinosaur

Speaker Series 2018: Ya Ha Tinda and Mass Extinction in the Early Jurassic

There were only three Early Jurassic Konservat Lagerstätten known in the world until an incredible diversity of fossil marine life was discovered at the Parks Canada Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. A Konservat Lagerstätte is a deposit of exceptionally preserved fossils where soft body parts are fossilized. The Ya Ha Tinda site is the first marine … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: Ya Ha Tinda and Mass Extinction in the Early Jurassic

Speaker Series 2018: Insights from China on the Dinosaurian Origins of Birds

By the end of the 1980s, most palaeontologists accepted that birds were the descendants of bipedal, mainly carnivorous dinosaurs known as theropods. At that time, the only known fossil to document the evolutionary transition to birds was Archaeopteryx from the Jurassic Period which was discovered in Germany. This changed with the discovery in the mid-1990s … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: Insights from China on the Dinosaurian Origins of Birds

New Research Explains the Upside-Down Preservation of Ankylosaurs

New research by Dr. Jordan Mallon, Canadian Museum of Nature, Dr. Donald Henderson, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Dr. Colleen McDonough and Dr. W.J. Loughry, Valdosta State University, explains the upside-down preservation of ankylosaurs in North America. Ankylosaurs were armoured, herbivorous dinosaurs. By the Late Cretaceous, ankylosaurs had diversified into two families, Ankylosauridae and Nodosauridae. They … Continue reading New Research Explains the Upside-Down Preservation of Ankylosaurs

Speaker Series 2018: Palaeontology of the Cretaceous Chalk

Chalk seas covered much of the Late Cretaceous world. The White Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom are one of the world’s most recognizable remnants of these oceans. Chalk is composed primarily of tiny coccolithophores, tiny circular discs formed as plankton that disintegrated after death. After they died, coccolithophores settled on the floor of … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: Palaeontology of the Cretaceous Chalk

New Species of Fishes Discovered in Sandstone Block on Display in Grounds for Discovery Exhibit

New collaborative research conducted on the fish block currently on display in the Grounds for Discovery exhibit, contributes to the reinterpretation of the family relationship of osteoglossomorph fishes. Dr. Allison Murray, University of Alberta, Dr. Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary, and Dr. Donald Brinkman and Andrew Neuman, Executive Director, from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology … Continue reading New Species of Fishes Discovered in Sandstone Block on Display in Grounds for Discovery Exhibit

Speaker Series 2018: Eocene Vertebrate Fauna and Flora in Canada’s High Arctic

Eocene sediments for the Eureka Sound Group in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago preserve evidence of lush rain forests. The Eocene Epoch, 56 - 33.9 million years , was characterized by the rapid diversification of mammals. Alligators, turtles, birds and a large diversity of mammals, including early primates, tapirs, and hippo-like Coryphodon, inhabited the rain forests of … Continue reading Speaker Series 2018: Eocene Vertebrate Fauna and Flora in Canada’s High Arctic