Second Major Dinosaur Fossil from Alberta in a Month

Residents of Leduc, a town approximately eighty miles north of Drumheller (Alberta) and just about ten miles to the south of the Province’s capital Edmonton, have found themselves very much on the palaeontological map of Canada with the discovery of duck-billed dinosaur fossils.  Construction workers from a company called Degner Construction, who were digging a trench as part of the ground works for a new housing development, uncovered the dinosaur remains, believed to be Hypacrosaurus.  Experts from Drumheller’s Royal Tyrrell Museum were despatched to confirm the discovery.  This is the second major dinosaur fossil find in about a month from Alberta, as in October, Everything Dinosaur reported the discovery of the tail of another duck-billed dinosaur (Hadrosaur), on that occasion by a team of construction workers building a pipeline.

To read more about the October discovery: Pipeline Workers Find Dinosaur Fossils

The fossils, some of which are articulated, are lying approximately six metres below the surface, a preliminary examination has revealed the presence of caudal vertebrae (tail bones) and part of the pelvic girdle.

Heather Klimchuk, the Minister of Alberta Culture commented:

“This tremendous find will give us an event greater insight into the dinosaurs that lived in central Alberta.  Alberta’s ability to be successful in preserving and protecting valuable palaeontological resources depends on the co-operation of industry as well as the general public.  Degner Construction is to be commended for recognising and taking the right steps to alert the Royal Tyrrell Museum.”

With the Museum staff supervising, the construction crew were able to use a large excavator to carefully remove topsoil and some of the overlying rock.  Then with great care, the block of sediment containing the fossil remains was removed and transported back to Drumheller for study.

The Tail Bones of the Dinosaur are Exposed

The geology hammer provides a scale

Picture Credit: 

Leduc’s Deputy Mayor, David Mackenzie stated:

“Leduc will now be acknowledged in the natural history of Alberta in a significant way and we’re pleased future generations of Albertans can benefit from this exciting discovery.”

There is nothing like a major dinosaur fossil discovery to put a place firmly on the map.  Many of the Province’s construction projects will be closed down shortly with the onset of the harsh Canadian winter.  However, 2013 has proved to be a great year for the Royal Tyrrell Museum with a number of significant dinosaur fossil finds, perhaps more this year than in other year of the Museum’s twenty-eight years existence.

Once the fossils have been properly cleaned and prepared, it is likely that some elements of the Leduc find will be able to go on show in the Museum’s Ornithischian galleries.

 

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