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

Wapiti River fieldwork, part 1

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my last post as I catch up on research and get ready for a brief stint of fieldwork in Grande Prairie. I’ve been working at the Wapiti River bonebed for the last few days, where we are excavating a Pachyrhinosaurus bonebed. Here is a quick update of what we’ve been up to.

The bonebed is on a steep river side, and we have cut a long but narrow ledge into the cliff. The view is quite spectacular and we occasionally see deer and bears on the other side of the river.

Continue reading

A Return Visit to the Jurassic Forest

Last fall I visited the newly-opened Jurassic Forest and enjoyed it very much. However, because winter arrives early in Edmonton, the leaves had already fallen and the dinosaurs were quite snowy! Today I spent some time showing off ankylosaur fossils and casts with visitors at the forest, and had a chance to see the dinosaur trails in their summer greener. Here’s a few new photos from the forest!

Styracosaurus looks like it’s in its natural environment. Continue reading

The winter term draws to a close, the fossils come out of hiding one last time.

We are very fortunate at the University of Alberta to offer several courses in Palaeontology (and not just through zoology or biology – they get their own PALEO course code). PALEO 418 and 419 cover vertebrate palaeontology in lecture and lab format, PALEO 414 focuses more on invertebrate paleontology and functional morphology, and PALEO 400 is a field school held right in Edmonton at the Danek hadrosaur bonebed. Continue reading

River of Death gets a name change.

I haven’t talked a whole lot here about the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative or the proposed River of Death and Discovery Museum. The area around Grande Prairie, Alberta, about a five hour drive northwest of Edmonton, is rich in Late Cretaceous fossils. The most famous locality is Pipestone Creek, where hundreds of the horned dinosaur¬†Pachyrhinosaurus perished millions of years ago.

For nearly ten years, a dedicated group of folks in Grande Prairie have been trying to get their own palaeontology museum off the ground. The working name for the museum was the River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Museum. However, the word ‘death’ in the museum name has made it difficult for the museum to get as many sponsors as they would have liked.

And so it was announced yesterday that the museum would be renamed to the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum! You can read more about the name change at the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune’s article.

There are some exciting things coming up this summer for the museum foundation, including the Akroyd Family and Friends Dinosaur Ball (yes, those Akroyds!), and the University of Alberta will return to our annual excavations at the Wapiti River Pachyrhinosaurus bonebed and the newly-reopened Pipestone Creek bonebed.

A helicopter approaches at the Wapiti River bonebed during the 2009 excavation. Helicopter lifts are the only way the large blocks can be brought up to the edge of the river valley.