Alberta dinosaur footprints reveal 4 different types of dinos

Study reveals presence of at least four different types of dinosaur in Peace Country

Alberta dinosaur

In this illustration, a hadrosaur leaves footprints along the muddy shoreline of a river similar to those found near Grande Prairie. Graphic illustration by Zhongda Zhang.

A study released by Grande Prairie palaeontologists has revealed even greater diversity amongst the dinosaurs that lived in Peace Country than was previously known.

According to the study, footprints collected in the region have been identified as belonging to at least four different types of dinosaur, which include Tyrannosaurs, medium-sized theropods (meat-eating dinosaurs), duck-billed hadrosaurs and armoured ankylosaurs. In addition, a variety of tiny prints that were discovered may belong to prehistoric mammals and amphibians.

The Peace Region, the aspen parkland region around the Peace River, is one of the most diverse footprint sites in Alberta.

“The great thing about footprints is that they show you exactly where that animal walked when it was alive – it shows behaviour, not just dead bones,” said Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative (PCDI) head palaeontologist Dr. Phil Bell.

The footprints, which were found over a period of 20 years by researchers and volunteers, come from the Wapiti Formation and are between 70 and 73 million years old. While the tracks had been known for years, it is only now that they have been identified.

The footprints provide another glimpse into the great diversity that existed in the northwest Alberta region tens of millions of years ago.

The Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative is the project team tasked with the realization of The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. Located in Wembley, Alta., and scheduled to open its doors in Summer 2014, the 41,000 sq. foot facility will highlight the rich fossil resources of Northern Alberta.

 

 

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