Monday, October 10, 2016

Dinosaurs

This area was warm and lush like a delta with large rivers, extensive swamps and broad bodies of fresh water...

 

The Museum houses an amazing collection of fossils and pre-history artifacts from the region, with particular emphasis on the world renowned Peace Canyon dinosaur tracks. Marine reptile displays feature the “Hudsonelpidia” a unique ichthyosaur named for the community as elpis in Greek means hope.

Local Dinosaur facts in the Hudson's Hope area:

  • Over 1,700 tracks in more than 100 trackways (many are no longer visible as they are submerged in Dinosaur Lake)
  • No dinosaur bones or fragments
  • Oldest record of bird foot prints in the world (1979), primitive shore bird, similar to killdeer, Aquatilavipes.
  • Approximate era: 125 million years ago, tracks made in Gething formation represent a period of 10 - 15,000 years = Early Cretaceous even though the dinosaurs etc. represented resemble those found in the much later Upper Cretaceous time frames in Alberta and Central Asia.
  • Duck-billed dinosaurs, Hadrosaurs, were the most abundant = 60%: both hand and foot prints found, weight 2200 kg, 2.5m at the hip, herbivorous.
  • At least 4 species of carnivorous dinosaurs = 10% large, 20% medium and small: Irenesauripus similar to Albertosaurus (which is very like T-Rex but smaller and more agile), ranged in size from 0.5m high at the hip to 2.75m at the hip, the most common was 1.5m at the hip = the size of a man, traveled in small packs, speed up to 16.5 km/hr, hunted both on land and in water. Also Ornitholestes, a small but active predator, 2m long, less than a meter at the hip.
  • Horned dinosaurs: small Iguanodon = Camptosaurus, small being relative as they weigh 700 kg and are lumbering, heavy-limbed herbivores. Primitive Ankylosaur = Sauropelta, didn't have spinal spikes yet, 2000 kg, herbivorous.

This information is taken from the published report: Dinosaur Footprints in the Peace River Canyon, by Philip Currie of the Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Drumheller, Alberta.