PALAEONTOLOGISTS DESCEND ON TUMBLER RIDGE

Late August almost 20 of Canada?s palaeontologists, both professional and amateur, arrived in Tumbler Ridge to visit three local field sites and be toured through the Museum Foundation?s Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre (PRPRC) and the Community Centre exhibits.

Prior to this they had gathered in Prince George for the 2005 Canadian Palaeontology Conference and the 6th Annual BC Paleontology Symposium. Tumbler Ridge palaeontologist Rich McCrea presented a keynote address at this conference, reporting on the discoveries and innovations that have occurred in Tumbler Ridge since the discovery of the initial dinosaur trackway in 2000.

?Everyone enjoyed it, we were impressed with what Tumbler Ridge has accomplished it such a short time?, said conference organizer Bob Campbell of The Exploration Place in Prince George.

With so many trained eyes close to the ground, it was not surprising that some new discoveries were made. Arrangements were made for return visits for further research on plant specimens and invertebrates such as clams and oysters. In the long term this will allow the area?s remote history to be better understood, and enhance the telling of this fsascinating story in the BC Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge, scheduled for construction by 2006.

Another feature of the weekend was the formal welcoming into the BC Paleontological Alliance (BCPA) of the newly formed Peace Region Paleontology Society (PRPS), which becomes the seventh regional society within the BCPA. The PRPS will promote the science of palaeontology throughout northeastern BC, and will contribute at a provincial level through the BCPA.

All in all a great extended weekend for British Columbian and Tumbler Ridge palaeontology!