Did you know that ‘Bruce’ one of Manitoba’s most famous fossil finds was named for a Monty Python skit?

Manitoba Bruce Fossil

Photo courtesy Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre

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.

Fossils Manitoba

Photo: Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre


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 museumʼs collection of prehistoric fish fossils.

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.

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

Discovery Channel / Daily Planet visited the dig site with a film crew in 2010 and again in the spring of 2011. They were filming content for a 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.

Have you participated in a Fossil Dig Adventure? Please share…


Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, 111 Gilmour St Morden, Manitoba


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