Did you know that 'Bruce' one of Manitoba's most famous fossil finds was named for a Monty Python skit
Morden, Manitoba - Bruce was discovered by bentonite miners who at the time were discussing a Monty Python movie in which everbody was named Bruce. Hence the naming of this fabulous fossil find as Bruce. The almost complete skeleton was found about 10 km west of Morden. At 43 ft, it is the largest mosasaur in Canada. They were marine reptiles - the underwater equivalent of dinosaurs, and on average were larger than the land creature, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In 2010 Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre began unearthing enormous fish that lived here 80 million years ago.
When fossils found the previous year were cleaned up during the winter, CFDC paleontologists discovered massive Xiphactinus jaw bones, with a partial mosasaur flipper wedged in between them. Xiphactinus was a predatory fish that lived in the Western Interior Seaway, sharing the waters with mosasaurs and other marine reptiles (the dinosaur counterparts of the ocean). The Seaway was a huge inland sea that split the continent of North America into two halves during most of the mid- and late-Cretaceous Period.
From the fossils collected so far, the creature is between 18-20 feet long, making it the largest in the museum’s collection of prehistoric fish fossils.
Where: Morden is 110 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg (about a 1hr & 20 minute drive). The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre is located in the lower level of the Morden Community Centre. It houses the single largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada, with over 900 specimens.
In the News:
Throughout the season the public is invited to get their hands dirty by participating in Fossil Dig Adventure Tours that range from 1/2 to 5 days.You get to go to an active dig site and work with paleontologists to try to find your own 80-million-year-old piece of history. The program has a 100% success rate in finding fossils. More information and rates are available at discoverfossils.com
More News: Discovery Channel – Daily Planet visited the dig site with a film crew in 2010 and again in the spring of 2011. They are filming content for an upcoming TV series called 'Reign of the Dinosaurs.'
The future goal of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre is to build a new state-of-the-art fossil museum within the Morden area. Photos: Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page
Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Lucy@CanadaCool.com. Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!
The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives
Here are some of my favorites...
The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.
The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.
The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.
And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...
More from Canada’s Coolest
'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:
- Golf Course Features
- Haunted Hotels
- Hotel Special Services
Send your suggestions to lucy@CanadaCool.com
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