For sixteen years Kevin Sharman was one of the geologists
at the Quintette Mine near Tumbler Ridge. More recently he
been working on the reclamation of the Quintette and Bullmoose
mines following their closure. His knowledge of the area
and its rocks made him an obvious choice as one of the
scientific advisors to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation.
And he is
now fulfilling that role in much more than an advisory
capacity – bitten
by the dino fever that is gripping Tumbler Ridge, he is hot
on the discovery trail.
Four consecutive important discoveries have established Sharman’s
reputation as one of the best Tumbler trackers. His warm-up was
with a series of starfish impressions on a 200 meter-long fossilized
beach (now known locally as the "Sharman Shore").
Next he found an ankylosaur handprint and a theropod footprint,
first dinosaur prints ever found in the Goodrich Formation.
Then he found a trackway on a near vertical rock wall at
a nearby gas well. With the expertise of Rich McCrea, western
dinosaur footprint authority, dozens of footprints have been
identified on this wall. The site, which is in the Gates
Formation, and shows a different population of dinosaurs
than that at the
well-known sites close to town. The specialty at this site
is the large theropods (carnivores) with prints up to half
Finally, on a hike in the mountains on 1 August he found
a theropod print on a mountain-top south of the Bullmoose
took a GPS
reading, and carried out the 65 pound rock on his back
to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation’s Field Station for McCrea
to confirm. The significance of this find in a package of rocks
known as the Minnes Group lies in its age – being at the
Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, it is older by a half than the
other Peace Region material, and therefore the oldest dinosaur
material in Canada’s northwest.
Kevin sees the recent discoveries as one more reason to
enjoy living in the area. "I have probably walked by many dinosaur
tracks over the years without noticing them. It took two kids
with a sense of imagination to get us all to open our eyes to
the rich fossil treasures in the Tumbler Ridge area. I’m
sure that with many more sets of eyes looking, this is just the
beginning of the exciting discoveries."