FROM THE EDUCATION DESK
The kids are all settled back in school and we are looking forward to putting up our decorations for Halloween here at the museum. Stop by and join us for our fun October events. I am looking forward to the beautiful foliage which we always get in October…fall is my favorite time of the year.
A massive skull is on its way to Ottawa from the Alberta badlands. It belongs to Chasmosaurus canadensis, a relative of the Triceratops. Jordan Mallon, a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning, “it has two long horns over the eyes, it has a horn over the nose and a big frill coming out of the back of the head. The whole skull is close to six feet long.” This has been a two year long process to get the skull out of the badlands. The fossil was found at the end of the 2015 excavation season. Mallon and his team saw some bone poking out of the side of a mudstone wall and it did not take them long to discover what they had found. The bone texture of horned dinosaur skulls is very distinctive. Since there’s no road to where the skull was found, it will be slung from a helicopter in a net and flown over the badlands before being packed in a crate at the Royal Tyrell Museum and shipped to Ottawa. It then will be researched and prepared for display. They are hoping to have it ready for the public to view by October for the museum’s open house.
Geologist Dr. Martin Lockley and volunteer Norbert Cygan inspect the raptor track Lockley discovered in 2016 at Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado. The two-toed track is only the second raptor track found in North America. So far, there have been only about 16 of these tracks found in the world, and 12 of those are from China and Korea. This track was found in an older layer of rock that dates back 105 million years. The raptor that made the footprint Lockley discovered had three toes, but one of them with a large claw retracted back, much like a cat. It wasn’t until around 1994 that the first raptor tracks were found in China, and it was around 2008 that tracks were found in Utah. Lockley said, “people will be making new discoveries a hundred years from now on Dinosaur Ridge, because methods for searching, as well as what people are looking for are always changing. I am constantly surprising myself by finding things here I hadn’t noticed before.”