Editor’s note: Alberta’s rich fossil history, including the field of palaeontology, is recognized around the world. RETROactive is now pleased to be sharing stories of discovery from the world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
The banner illustration above is courtesy of Julius Csotonyi.
The nodosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli is the world’s best-preserved armoured dinosaur. This amazing specimen has helped answer many important questions about dinosaur biology and behaviour. Now, new research supports the theory that the nodosaur was a picky eater.
Editor’s note: We continue our series highlighting significant fossil discoveries found by members of the public. Remember, if you find a fossil, follow these instructions.
1997: Nichollsemys baieri (TMP 1997.099.0001)
Life in southeastern Alberta was exciting for Ron Baier and his brother growing up near Taber. They enjoyed exploring the land and searching for rocks and fossils. Development of irrigation lines unearthed many interesting artifacts, including arrowheads. As the development slowed, Ron started branching out to new areas in search of artifacts and fossils.
Al Lakusta was a junior high science teacher in Grande Prairie in the 1970s. As part of his lessons, he took students prospecting for fossils at Pipestone Creek. The fossils they found were usually molluscs, like clams and oysters. One day in 1974, Al came across dinosaur fossils when he ventured farther upstream than usual. He looked along the banks for the source of the fallen fossil material, and luckily spotted a ledge about 10 metres above the creek. He clambered up the bank and located the fossil-rich layer. He sent samples of the fossils to the Provincial Museum of Alberta, and consulted with scientists from the Grande Prairie Regional College to learn more about his find. Palaeontologists, including Dr. Philip Currie, were then involved to help identify the bones.