But everyone was overflowing with excitement. At the time I had no idea the how far the find would go. But 5 o'clock rolled around and we had to return to the museum. As hard as it was to leave Angus, I knew that I would be back as soon as I could. Over the next month we continued to expand the site, with just our field crew, and also other tours. The one day I kept finding tooth after tooth. It was so awesome. Once Joey and Anita, our paleontologists, identified the size and type of Mosasaur, Dave, our director, sent out a press release. The same afternoon, CTV and the Free Press arrived to film it and write about it. I barely had time to tell my family. Before I knew I was on the front page and on the national and local news. My friends are all calling me to congratulate me. It still blows my mind. Largest fossil find in thirty years, second largest Mosasaur in Canada. I never thought any of this while we worked on it. It was just a cool find. Nothing big. And now everyone credits me with the discovery. So I want to set the record straight right now. It was the LaChance family, not me that made the find. They found it and named it. I was just the staff member lucky enough to be there. It is funny though. Their family name means "the luck" And we are all very lucky to find such a big find.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Today we had a special DIno Day Camp. A radio reporter CKMW broadcasted our afternoon. We had a excited group of kids ready to play. We started off with a Museum tour. All the children had many comments about everything on display. With our imaginations we turned into pirates of the late Cretaceous and explored the Western Interior Seaway. Our adventure lead us to Pterosaur nests, Stegasaurs, and even the evil Tiki Buhler Naka-naka. Our brave pirates found the clues which led to the lost treasure, their own flying Pterosaur. An excited bunch of kids crowded around the radio microphone and screamed with joy, all trying to get a turn for their own individual fame. Next the children made their very own Allosaurus tooth necklace with exotic beads. They all looked mystically beautiful. Then the kids grabbed a brush and headed for the dig box, each finding dinosaur bones hidden beneath the sand. After the dig they wound down by going back in time with the Magic School Bus. Today was a wonderful adventure for all.
Today was the last day of summer kids programs for the year. We had a full class registered for Volcano Making and were looking forward to it, as the kids always have a great time with this program. We had a bit of a rush to get ready as some of the children showed up 20 minutes early, but it didn't take us long to get everything together. The kids played with the puzzles and dinosaur toys as we waited for everyone to arrive. All but one of the children had already been to several programs over the summer, and it was nice to see some of our favorites on the last day. Once everyone had arrived we had the children put on their smocks and explained to them how we were going to make the volcano. We let them mix their own plaster and let them know when it was the right consistancy to start putting it onto the top of a pop bottle with a small plastic glass glued inside of it. Once everyone was done molding their volcanos, we cleaned our hands and I led a tour of the museum while Jolene cleaned away the extra plaster and set out the painting supplies. The kids had all been to the museum before and so knew almost everything I had to tell them on the tour. They answered all the hard questions and even remembered the name Hesperornis. After visiting Bruce, we came back to the room, and the children put their smocks back on to begin painting. We had our most colorful bunch of volcanoes yet, with all the colors of the rainbow. While the paint dried the kids learnt some facts about volcanoes, and had a bit of time to play. When it was almost time to go, they gathered back together at the tables with their volcanoes and prepared for the grand finale. Jolene had already poured some baking soda into the tops of the volcanoes, and I passed out little cups of vinegar with red food coloring in it. On the count of three, everyone poured in the vinegar and watched as the volcanoes erupted. The kids loved it so much, we did it three more times before it was time to go. Everyone seemed to have had a lot of fun and it was a great end to a summer full of adventures.
These three layers, going from the top to the bottom are known as the Odanah Member, the Millwood Member, and the Pembina Member.
Most of the fossils in the CFDC have been extracted from the Pembina Member of the Pierre Shale Formation. These fossils are usually pinky-white in color and are very crumbly. Three exciting finds that have occurred in the Pembina Member this field season!
First off, Heather Nelson, a fellow field tchnician of the CFDC stumbled across the fossils of a plesiosaur who she named "Ianto." Heather's discovery yielded at least ten vertebrae and a limb bone, not to mention a couple fish vertebrae thrown into the mix.
Secondly, board member Joe Brown came across what is known as a death assembly. The death assembly contained fossils from mosasaurs, fish, sharks, and birds, and was the first multi-species death assembly found in this area. This area was first dug in by school groups, who uncovered small sections of this find. So far over 150 fossils have been excavated and evtracted from the site, with many still waiting to be found!
Finally, as the field season was closing down, Reid Graham led a tour ground up to the CFDC property on a dig tour. They ended up discovering "Angus," the second largest mosasaur in Manitoba. This was a huge find and the media lapped it up. The find is still being worked on and will continue to be worked on next field season.
The CFDC has also discovered fossils in the Millwood Member. These fossils are very different from the fossils found in the Pembina Member. Fossils found here are very dark in color, in some cases jet black. They are smooth, and are often in very nice condition. Millwood shale is a lot more more solid than shale from the Pembina member, which makes the excavation of fossils extremely difficult. That is why most of these fossils have been collected right from the surface.
Several beautiful fossils have been found in the Millwood Member. So far two Hesperornis vertebrae, two mosasaur vertebrae, mosasaur jaw fragments, squid pen fragments, a plesiosaur vertebra, and several fish vertebra have been found and brought back to the museum. These finds are all jet black and extremely smooth, and were all found above ground lying on the surface.
I would like to continue searching in the Millwood Member, as the fossils are in great condition, and the area is practically "untapped."
The other day myself, Reid, Matt and Joey took a school group out to
Since then we’ve been back to the site many times, and more fossils are still being found. Later on in the field season we’re planning on bringing Ianto back to the museum and it will be examined during the winter season.