July 23, 2003

What was possibly BC’s first fossil road show was held at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library July 23. Arranged by the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, it enabled rock and fossil hounds to show their prize specimens to experts and an enthusiastic audience of 130, and get scientifically accurate (and sometimes surprising) answers.

The panel comprised palaeontologists Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley, and geologists Doug Foerster and Kevin Sharman.

One farmer from Rolla discovered that the weird rock he had found in his field was an igneous glacial erratic, that had come all the way from the NWT. Two teenagers almost stumped the panel with unusually patterned rocks from the Murray River that turned out to be fossilized worm burrows. One lady brought a whole box of rocks from near Smithers that included a fossilized mosquito. A senior displayed rocks he had found in Alberta decades ago, which were dinosaur bones! And there were clams and more clams from the local canyons, a surprising number of trilobites from the local mountains, and much more.

The excellent weather allowed the library staff to host the event outdoors on the Roman walkway, with refreshments available inside. In the audience were reporters from the Globe and Mail who had just finished researching a story on the Tumbler Ridge dinosaurs – they were warmly applauded when they were presented with a theropod footprint cast from the Museum Foundation.

For as long as the dinosaur excavation project continues, the Fossil Road Show will be an annual summer feature in Tumbler Ridge.

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