Field research by scientists at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum continued to reap a harvest of fresh new fossil discoveries throughout the summer of 2018.
“Saskatchewan is becoming better known as having one of the great fossil resources in Canada and indeed the world,” Parks Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said. “Each summer brings another opportunity to realize new, untouched fossil sites and the potential for scientific discoveries of international importance.”
Royal Saskatchewan Museum palaeontologists gave media an insider’s view of the tally of this summer’s carefully excavated multimillion year-old fossils.
The “Hits” of Summer 2018 include the skull of a baby elasmosaur (long-necked plesiosaur) from Lake Diefenbaker, an Edmontosaurus skull (duck-billed dinosaur) found near Shaunavon, a partial skeleton of a juvenile bronoto
there (38 million year-old rhino-like mammal) discovered near Eastend, Triceratops bones near Grasslands National Park, teeth from a Gorgosaurus (a big carnivore that looks like Albertosaurus), and ankylosaurs (armoured dinosaurs with clubbed tails) from near Consul.
Sometimes the significance of these summer discoveries is not fully realized until the fossils are analyzed back at the lab. Pieces of amber collected near Bengough were found to contain insect inclusions from the Cretaceous period, including a newly discovered species of wasp.
Two years ago, a little turtle fossil was collected. Nicknamed “Squrtle,” now RSM scientists have confirmed it is a very important find because it is so complete and likely from a rare group of turtles.
Already loved and appreciated by the more than 150,000 annual visitors at its facilities in Regina and Eastend, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s status as an internationally recognized Centre for research and teaching continues to rise as does the world’s appreciation of Saskatchewan’s fossil resources.
The fossil hits of summer 2018 will join past discoveries to add to the provincial collection and be the subject of study and research until next summer, when the season of fieldwork and discovery begins anew.
To learn more and follow the summer blogs of RSM’s researchers, go to www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/rsm.