Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sticky Stuff

There is only so much one can do in a day and sadly our replicas have suffered. BUT NOT ANYMORE. Time and effort have been put into replicating some of our nicer fossil specimens for displays. Over the past month the CFDC has been very fortunate to have obtained a couple of volunteers with experience and knowledge of molding, casting and painting.
Last week we constructed a new mold of a mosasaur pelvic girdle (hips and flippers) and let me tell you it was sticky. Both of us would prefer to use other materials but this product has the best effect and its soft enough not to harm the fossils. Today we applied a support jacket to the outside of the sticky mold and can hardly wait to see how it'll turn out. In the image above you can see a mold for a mosasaur skull currently on display.
Once the molds have been completed casts will be poured and handed over to another volunteer for painting. Alas a replica is born. Currently the volunteers are working on a display for the South Central Regional Library in Morden and things are looking great! Thanks for all the hard work.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Morden-Montana Exchange

It's almost that time of year again. Fossil Finding Time!!!! This year the CFDC is expanding its excavation to include a trip out to Jordan Montana. The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (CFDC) and the Paleo World Research Foundation (PWRF) are providing an opportunity for students to gain field experience in different environmnets with different kinds of fossils. Here in Manitoba we'll provide students from the United States a chance to work in shales and excavate marine reptiles from the Pierre Shale Formation. In turn, Montana will allow for students to work in the Hell Creek Formation discovering dinosaurs.
This is a first for the CFDC and we anticipate an ongoing partnership with PWRF. This year only a few will participate, but I'm sure there will be more opportunities down the road. The first part of the exchange will take place along the Mantoba Escarpment. One of the first specimens the students will excavate is a marine bird Hesperornis discovered at the end of last years field season. Four semi-articulated vertebrae and a possible rib were found and prepped for the winter. I anticipate a 50% complete skeleton. I can hope can't I? No matter, I'm sure it will be exciting.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Volunteer Appreciation

Last week the CFDC had its annual Volunteer Appreciation at the museum. It was a great success. Without the hard work and time our current volunteers contribute, the CFDC wouldn't be where it is today.

In 2006 over 30 volunteers contributed over 700 hours to board meetings, lab work, field work, fossil preparation, cataloguing, data entry, replicating fossils, special events, museum tours and many other tasks.

The CFDC was also pleased to have guest paleontologist Joseph Hatcher, Curator of Paleontology from the Paleo World Research Foundation provide a presentation for us on the Hell Creek Formation of Montana. The CFDC and Paleo World Research Foundation are organizing a student exchange for the 2007 field season.

Thanks Joey for a great presentation. We're all excited about the upcoming project.

Mayors and Mosasaurs Oh My!

Recently the Mayor of Morden presented a mounted replicate skull of a mosasaur, currently on exhibit at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, to the Mayor of Winnipeg. Both were very pleased and delighted with the prehistoric beast.

Lets hope it doesn't scare any visitors but stirs some interest. It sure is something to talk about. I mean its not everyday you see a mosasaur skull in an office!