In Which there are Whales

One more post from my trip to Vancouver last weekend, which upon reflection definitely had a whaley theme to it. What can I say, I have a soft spot for cetaceans. Continue reading

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Nanaimo Group Field Trip

I’ve just returned from the Canadian Paleontology Conference, which was held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. I participated in the field trip to Vancouver Island, where we explored Nanaimo Group outcrops. Gwawinapterus was collected from Nanaimo Group rocks on Hornby Island, and although we didn’t get out to Hornby, we did check out several other formations and localities. Here’s a few highlights from the trip!

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Hugo’s Boss

I almost forgot to mention a fun bit of news coverage that happened during our Grande Prairie fieldwork. The first Pachyrhinosaurus skull to be prepared from the Wapiti River bonebed was nicknamed Hugo (for I hope obvious reasons…). It is on loan to the Grande Prairie Regional College for the next few months and is on display in a case beside their bookstore. The Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune did a nice little piece on the new display and features a completely awesome photo of Phil Currie and prep technician Susan Kagan.

Susan has been pummeling her way through the hard ironstone nodules that enclose the Wapiti River skulls – here is a photo from last fall of progress on the next skull to be prepared. It’s come a long way since then, but it takes a long time to get these guys ready.

Grande Prairie Regional College also has a full skeletal mount of Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, the species known from the Pipestone Creek bonebed.

Ok, that should actually be the end of Pachyrhinosaurus updates for the next little while…

Pipestone Creek Bonebed

The area around Grande Prairie is rich with dinosaur fossils, although the setting is somewhat different than you might expect if you’re used to working in badlands like Dinosaur Provincial Park. In Grande Prairie, the only badlands outcrops are the Kleskun Hills, and most other sites are found along creeks and river valleys. I spent the bulk of my time at the Wapiti River bonebed, but helped out a little bit at the concurrent excavation at Pipestone Creek. Continue reading