On January 27th, Lisa G. Buckley and Richard McCrea gave a slide show presentation of Dinosaur Fossils of the Tumbler Ridge area. Buckley and McCrea are a part of the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre. 610 people attended the events which included the presentation by Buckley and McCrea.
Dr. Helm mentioned that the feasibility study for the Museum has been completed. An estimated 75,000 to 95,000 visitors per year to the museum will add a boom to the economy in the community. Plans for the Museum are going ahead because of the study.
Buckley and McCrea then began with a slide show presentation showcasing the background of the discovery of fossils in the area. Daniel Helm and Mark Turner discovered a dinosaur track way along some rock while tubing. In 2001, McCrea came to see the footprints and discovered that they were Ankylosaur tracks. These footprints quickly became known as the largest track way in British Columbia.
When pictures were being taken of the track way for Canadian Geographic, McCrea set his compass on a rock that encased dinosaur bone. This was the only known bone discovered in British Columbia. In 2002, more track ways were discovered in the region and in 2003, McCrea and his colleagues found approximately 40 footprints in a track way at Quality Creek Canyon. 22 bones estimated at approximately 93 million years old were found in a sandstone block.
British Columbia began it?s first ever Dinosaur Skeletal Excavation from 2003 until 2006. The digging was a very slow and tedious process. Rocks contained a bevy of information by how the bones were lying in them. Some of the findings included the rear-end of an Ornithopod, an Ankylosaur shoulder, Therapod tooth, fish scales, crocodile body armor, turtle shell, and a tooth from a freshwater Stingray.
In 2005 and 2006, the team continued with the Quality Creek Excavation, The Gorman Creek Formation, the Gething Formation in the Peace River Canyon, and the Boulder Creek Formation. Buckley mentioned that Dr. Charles Helm discovered specimens out of Sulpher Mountain that date back to 240 million years ago. There are large bird footprints discovered at the Gething Formation and Therapod footprints at Boulder Creek.
Buckley informed that in the Kaskapau Formation, another Ankylosaur track way was found. In the Wapiti Formation, Buckley said that approximately 75 million year-old fossils such as duck billed dinosaurs, Therapod material like the Velociraptor and the Tyrannosaur have also been discovered. When asked about the size of some of the dinosaurs that have been found in the region, McCrea held up a Therapod (meat-eater) foot replica. The mold stood about two and a half to three feet high.