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High quality fossil find from Canada’s Tar Sands

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File:Meyerasaurus victor SMNS 12478.jpg
plesiosaur, Stuttgart Museum/Ra'ike

In “Alberta oil sands yield treasure trove of ancient fossils” (Canadian Press, November 24, 2011), Bill Gravelands notes that Alberta, Canada’s controversial tar sands oil recovery project has had one side effect that should be welcome to all. It’s brought up some very fine fossils. Recently, a Syncrude heavy equipment operator unearthed a nearly complete 100 million year old plesiosaur that once swam the ancient sea that covered the area. Earlier this year a 110 million year old ankylosaur was unearthed.

Syncrude has a protocol for fossil finds, which requires an operator to stop digging in the immediate area and notify Syncrude’s geologist, who works with the Royal Tyrrell [Museum] on fossil discoveries.

Let’s hope they must invoke it often.


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