Second Dinosaur Footprint Open to Visitors

For Immediate Release
May 27, 2003

The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation is pleased to announce that a second dinosaur footprint field site is open to visitors. Museum members have teamed up with Tumbler Ridge’s outdoor group, the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society, to build a hiking trail that will make the site, on a canyon floor, more accessible.

Palaeontologist Rich McCrea discovered the site in 2001 and scientific work that proceeded through the summer of 2002 has now been completed. Both theropods and ornithopods are represented in a few dozen footprints, most of which are shallow, and cannot be seen easily in the harsh sunlight. For this reason they are best viewed at night with lantern light, which can be controlled and used at a low angle, making the rock appear to come alive with footprints and creating a surreal experience, further enhanced by the rushing waters of the river beside the tracks. Tumbler Ridge is apparently the only site in the world where such lantern tours can be enjoyed.

Interesting features include short trackways, rare ornithopod skin impressions, and a theropod print, from which exact replicas have been made and will be on sale to the public as a museum fundraiser. Because of the sensitive nature of the site, unescorted visits are discouraged.

In 2002 the Flatbed dinosaur footprint site was opened, on completion of research there. It contains over a hundred footprints, a few of which are exceptionally deep and well preserved. The two sites are significantly different, and field trips to these sites are scheduled as part of the week long Dino Camps, which are to be delivered this summer in conjunction with the Northern Lights College. Led by palaeontology student Marisa Gilbert, these will be the first such camps ever held in BC.

For the 2003 season, lantern tours will be offered by a private local ecotourism co-operative, which will be donating a portion of its proceeds to the Tumbler Ridge Museum foundation. For further details on tours, contact the Tumbler Ridge Visitor Information Centre at 242-3123. For information on Dino Camps call 242-5591.

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