A Terror of Tyrannosauridae

The Discovery of the World’s first Tyrannosaurid trackway has led palaeontologists to re-evaluate the behaviour of the species.  Prior to this there were only sporadic single prints of Tyrannosaurs found.  The presence of 3 sets of tracks running parallel has developed into the hypothesis that they were pack hunters.  This has led to a new group-noun “A terror of Tyrannosaurs” coined right here in Tumbler Ridge.

Training the next Generation
Kids learning advanced paleontology techniques

The TRMF and PRPRC put on regular educational camps so the youth of Tumbler Ridge can learn about Geopark Paleontology.  Some of the activities include:

  • How to prepare fossils,
  • How to make museum quality replicas of fossils,
  • How to excavate a dinosaur (or any other type of fossil),
  • Outdoor activities, including neighborhood bird-watching and games,
  • Fun and informative presentations on British Columbia’s dinosaurs and other fossils, famous palaeontologists, and more!
A Non-Prehistoric Timeline in Tumbler Ridge

Two local children, Mark Turner and Daniel Helm, correctly identified a dinosaur trackway just below Tumbler Ridge on the banks of Flatbed Creek in 2000.  This was the catalyst for an explosion of discoveries in creeks and canyons, in the alpine, at industrial sites, and at coal mines. Dinosaurs found these terrestrial and coastal shoreline conditions attractive, and abundant evidence has accumulated for their presence. Within the Cretaceous rocks in the area, there are nine terrestrial (non-marine) formations. Dinosaur footprints or bones have been described from each of these, spanning almost sixty million years. There are intriguing changes in the dinosaur fauna over this time period, using evidence from these tracks and bones.


Kids digging for fossils at TRMF

The first reported dinosaur bone in British Columbia was found beside the initial ankylosaur trackway site in 2001.  In 2002 the first accumulation of dinosaur bones in British Columbia was discovered. While not articulated, these included dinosaur bones from a number of groups including theropods, ornithopods and ankylosaurs. Over two hundred bones were removed from this site during the first three years of excavation. These bones were much older than the well–known Alberta material (93 million years as opposed to 65–74 million years) and thus were the oldest known dinosaur skeletal material in western Canada. Being from the Turonian Stage of the Late Cretaceous, they provide a window on vertebrate fossils from this period, which are globally rare.

Subsequent prospecting in younger rocks, 75–73 million years old, has yielded further sites. Several hundred bones have been removed from these localities, including one articulated hadrosaur specimen surrounded by scores of shed juvenile tyrannosaurid teeth. Teeth of the sickle–clawed dromaeosaurs and troodontids as well as hadrosaur jaws, fish scales, and champsosaur vertebrae have also been recovered. At the hadrosaur excavation site there is evidence in the form of microtektites that may represent a significant extraterrestrial event. In 2013 excavation revealed the presence of multiple dinosaurs, indicating a dinosaur bonebed, B.C.’s first.

In these Cretaceous rocks is the final fossil strength of the Tumbler Ridge area: abundant plant life and invertebrate life. In the latter category are crustaceans, oysters, inoceramids and starfish impressions. A great transformation took place during the early part of the Late Cretaceous Period (Cenomanian), from a landscape initially dominated by redwoods, ferns, cycads, seed ferns, horsetails and ginkgo, to one dominated by angiosperms (flowering plants). These are all represented in local rocks.

Dino Trails in Tumbler Ridge
Academic Publications

We are extremely pleased to host the only vertebrate research facility on British Columbia.  Since it’s founding Tumbler Ridge has become the focal point for this science in the entire province.

Palaeontological News

Archaeologists Find Giant Clams and Trace Fossils in Tumbler Ridge Area

Sarah Gamble and Kaitlin Minichiello, archaeologists with Amec Foster Wheeler in Tumbler Ridge, have been conducting the archaeological impact assessment for Boralex’s proposed Redwillow Wind Energy project 50 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge. They look for evidence of past human use of the area, such as prehistoric First Nations sites or historic trapper cabins, not…

The Tumbler Ridge Ice Ages

When our delegates from Tumbler Ridge attend UNESCO Global Geoparks Network conferences, they are struck by how many Global Geoparks have Pleistocene (Ice Age) geology as their main theme. By contrast, here in Tumbler Ridge we have sometimes viewed the Pleistocene glacial till that covers much of the surface as an irritant, something to be…

A New Tyrannosaur Footprint Near Tumbler Ridge

There are fourteen tyrannosaur tracks that have been discovered worldwide. No less than nine of these have been found within the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark, while there are three from Alberta, one from Mongolia, and one from New Mexico. Some of the first to be discovered within the Geopark are of great international significance and…

New Discovery Shows Ancient Crocodiles Roamed BC’s Peace Region

100-million-year-old tracks uncovered at B.C. coal mine and preserved in Tumbler Ridge Museum   A discovery by an employee at Teck Resources Limited’s (“Teck”) Quintette Project, south of Tumbler Ridge in British Columbia’s Peace Region, has turned out to be one of the finest examples of fossil crocodilian tracks in the world. Geologist Kevin Sharman…

The Dinosaur Autobahn – A Personal Perspective

In recent weeks a Canadian Press article by Dirk Meissner on the so-called “dinosaur autobahn” near Williston Lake made the national news  The media found the description of multiple dinosaur trackways on a large flat surface area irresistible, and the story spread across the world. This is truly a phenomenon for everyone in northeastern BC…

Grizzly Valley ATV Club
Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club
Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Wolverine Nordic Mountain Society
District of Tumbler Ridge
Peace River Regional District
Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre

Palaeontological Sites in the TRGG