MONSTER DINOSAUR FOOTPRINT BROUGHT TO TUMBLER RIDGE
Press Release
For Immediate Release
Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242 3984

December 17, 2004

It is over sixty cms (two feet) long and almost as wide. It was made by a tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur 75 million years ago. It was found east of Tumbler Ridge by visiting hunters in a block of rock weighing five tonnes. And it has just been brought to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation’s Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre (PRPRC) through the generous support of Burlington Resources, who donated the necessary equipment and time.

The most likely candidate as trackmaker for this giant footprint is Albertosaurus. Earlier this year the first tyrannosaurid tooth in the province was discovered near Tumbler Ridge, so BC now boasts both tyrannosaur skeletal material and tracks. The well known T. rex can be excluded as it only appeared in the fossil record about 69 million years ago, after this track was made. Worldwide, the largest known theropod footprint was made by a T. rex and is 85 centimeters long.

Although the sheer size of this natural cast is impressive, it is the exquisite set of skin impressions contained in the middle toe that makes it a particularly valuable acquisition for the PRPRC. Such skin impressions are rare in Cretaceous theropod footprints.

The block had initially been excavated during road construction, and was removed to Tumbler Ridge by Burlington Resources in challenging -32 degrees Celsius conditions. Palaeontologists Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley have since been working on it, reducing the rock to a more manageable size so that the print can be studied, scientifically described, casted and exhibited.

Accessioning an important large print like this is another small step in the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation’s drive to create an attraction of international importance for the Peace Region.

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For further information please contact palaeontologists
Rich McCrea or Lisa Buckley at the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre:
Phone: 1 (250) 242-DINO or prprc@pris.bc.ca

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