Drumheller, Alberta- Not hard to know when you’ve reached the right town – just look for an 82-foot fiberglass T-Rex on the main street. Paleontologists from around the world gravitate to this region (from Drumheller, 140 kilometers northeast of Calgary, down the Red River Valley to Dinosaur Provincial Park) because it’s one of the greatest dinosaur graveyards in the world. 70 million years ago this land was tropical, on the edge of a great sea. As the dinosaurs of the cretaceous period died out, some became buried mud and sediment and fossilized. When the glaciers of the ice age receded 13,000 years ago, the scraping and gouging of the land began to expose the fossils. Six kilometers north of Drumheller is the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a research facility with 130,000 specimens, with more than 35 complete skeletons on exhibit. (Historica video).
Where: Drumheller is just a 90-minute drive from Calgary. Dinosaur exhibits at the Royal Tyrrell Museum are the ‘must see’. Several do-it-yourself drive tours will help you discover the region’s spectacular scenery, including the bizarre sandstone pillars called Hoo Doos, and other attractions in the area, such as theatre, go carting, Canada’s largest exhibit of live reptiles, historic sites, golf, canoeing, and a working guest ranch. In the News: Along with programs ranging form a 2 hr Fossil Safari to a 2 day Excavation, there ‘s a new Prospecting Program at Dinosaur Provincial Park this year. It allows visitors to prospect for fossils just like the professionals. The $125 all-day excursion involves guided five- to eight-kilometre hiking over rough terrain in the Alberta Badlands, in search of dinosaur bones and other fossil remains. The 2011 season for this program ends Aug 27.
Each year The Royal Tyrrell Museum also offers a variety of programs, including science camps for kids and families that include prospecting for fossils. More News: On March 16th, 2009 Scientists announce a fossil skeleton of the smallest meat-eating dinosaur in North America was unearthed 20 km from Dinosaur Provincial Park. The discovery was originally made several decades ago, but it was mis-labeled as a juvenile because of its unusually small size. The 75-million-year-old chicken-sized dinosaur known as Hesperonychus would have lived in swamps and forests, was covered in feathers, and likely climbed trees. Read CBC Report.
Have you visited? Please share…
Royal Tyrrell Museum, Hwy 838 Drumheller Alberta