Celebration of a growing museum

26 May 2010. Drumheller, AB, Canada

My wife and I took a short excursion south of Edmonton and visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum located in the badlands of Drumheller in southern Alberta.

Whereas my wife arrived with the goal of learning a research technique from the resident fish aging expert Dr. Michael Newbrey, I had a more leisurely schedule of browsing the museum's Tertiary mammal collection and the new exhibit celebrating the museum's 25th birthday.

[Dr. Michael Newbrey (left) and Juan Liu (right) working on identification of annuli on fish scales]

Before arrival, I had a grand vision of prospecting for fossils in the badlands in beautiful Alberta spring weather. Missing from my calculation was the presence of mosquito swarms; we ended up playing tourist and dropping by a few sites for photos, but did not do any prospecting.

[Horseshoe Canyon, exposing Cretaceous fossiliferous sediments ~15 km southwest of Drumheller]

I ended up spending most of my time in the exhibits, where several spectacular specimens were displayed in the temporary exhibit highlighting fossil discoveries by Albertans over the past 25 years.

[Prognathodon, a marine reptile (mosasaur), skeleton from the Late Cretaceous sediments of Lethbridge, Alberta. TMP 2007.034.0001]

[Bobasatrania, a strange diamond-shaped bony fish, from the Early Triassic of Wapiti Lake, British Columbia. TMP 1983.205.0180]

[An undescribed titanoideid, a pantodont mammal, from the Paleocene of Joffre Bridge, Alberta. TMP 2001.025.0003]

[Skull of Edmontonia rugosidens, an ankylosaur dinosaur, from the Late Cretaceous of Dinosaur Provincial Park. TMP 1998.098.0001]

[Tyrannosaurus rex, skeleton of a theropod dinosaur individual dubbed "Black Beauty", from the Late Cretaceous Crownsnest Pass in Alberta. TMP 1981.006.0001]

[Eotriceratops xerinsularis, a basal ceratopsian dinosaur, from the Late Cretaceous of Dry Island Buffalo Jump, Alberta. TMP 2002.057.0007]

[Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, a ceratopsid dinosaur, from the Late Cretaceous Pipestone creek of Alberta. TMP 2005.053.0001]

Among other specimens displayed were dinosaur eggs, trackways, and some very impressive fossil plant cones preserved and prepared in 3D. The exhibit stands as a fine testament to the important discoveries already made improving our understanding of the Mesozoic "North America", and a hint to what still remain unearthed in the museum's surrounding badlands.