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Fundy Dinosaur Field Notes 1511

Hurricane Patricia Storm Surge

On Thursday October 29th the remnants of Hurricane Patricia rolled through the Maritimes. The storm coincided with a particularly high tide (14.1 meters) that was forecast to occur in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. The storm surge resulting from the post-hurricane storm caused damage along the Parrsboro Shore of the Bay of Fundy. Spencer’s Island saw large gravel movement and coastal flooding. Waves in the Minas Basin (Bay of Fundy) were also large and pounded against the cliffs at Two Islands. This storm battered the sandstone cliffs at Wasson Bluff, where the dinosaur research site is located.

The Museum received information from D. Nardini, a private mineral collector who had visited the shore after the storm. The cliffs were washed clean and there appeared to be some recent erosion from the storm surge. Dr. Tim Fedak, a palaeontologist and the curator at the Fundy Geological Museum went to examine the cliffs after the storm surge.

NOTE: The site at Wasson Bluff is protected by Special Places Protection Act. No one is to carry out any work around the cliffs, with all fossil collection prohibited, except with an approved Nova Scotia Heritage Research Permit.

Halloween Dinosaur Discovery

Fedak visited the research site in the morning of Halloween Day 2015.  The initial task at the Research Site there was to capture several high-resolution photographs of the cliff to be used to create 3D scans of the cliff surface. More on this in the future.

Tim Fedak at the Dinosaur Research Site

After completing the photographs for 3D scanning, Fedak examined the site of the “Princeton Quarry” where a mass accumulation of dinosaur skeletons has been recovered during previous research. The sandstone cliff at the research site was washed clean of all debris – and new dinosaur bone was visible on the surface of the cliff. A new discovery!

The sandstone cliff at the research site was washed clean of all debris – and new dinosaur bone was visible on the surface of the cliff. A new discovery!

The weather forecast was calling for rain, so to prevent further erosion of the specimen a channel was cut in the sandstone. The channel around the specimen would direct rain flowing down the cliff around the specimen.

Over the next several days the edges of the Fundy dinosaur bones were carefully exposed. During one of these trips, a high school student (Timo Sanders) and his father (Frans) assisted with some of the early excavation work. An excellent opportunity for Timo to learn first hand how palaeontologists work to collect new fossil specimens.

A highschool student (Timo Sanders) and his father observed and assisted with fossil collecting for one afternoon..

After several trips to the research site, the channel around the specimen was carefully expanded to allow a small block to be removed. Watch a video showing some of the work done to create the channel around the dinosaur bones.

 

The fossil bones and sandstone block were then covered with a plaster and burlap field jacket (like a cast for a broken arm), which protected the bone and sandstone block. A large and wide chisel was used to separate the block of sandstone containing the 200 million year old dinosaur bones.

The block was then removed and taken to the Fundy Geological Museum. The new dinosaur bones will be  studied in the Fossil Research Lab. Visitors to the Museum will be able look into the Fossil Research Lab and see the block being worked on by museum staff and volunteers.  Visit the Fundy Geological Museum next spring/summer to see the latest updates on this new discovery.

 

 

 

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News Updates

An Exciting New Year

As a museum-based researcher I enjoy sharing regular updates about research and discoveries occurring at the Fundy Geological Museum. It is rewarding to respond to questions from museum visitors and members, and exciting to share the new discoveries made in the field or research lab. The online updates have attracted many people to become involved in the museum’s programs.

As 2015 approaches, it is clear that the coming year will be filled with new adventures and discoveries. It will be a busy year with several exciting projects going to launch during the next several months.

Dino Hunt Canada – On History Channel

Dino Hunt logo

The new History Channel documentary series Dino Hunt Canada will include an episode on Nova Scotia dinosaur research occurring at the Museum.

The first episode of the series airs January 30th.

Visit the History Channel website : http://dinohuntcanada.history.ca

Image of Nova Scotia prosauropods from upcoming History Channel episode.

Dinosaurs Unearthed – Museum of Natural History

We are also busy developing a new exhibit focused on “Canada’s Oldest Dinosaurs in Nova Scotia” that will be on display at the Museum of Natural History (Halifax, NS) from Januray 30 to May 24.

The Nova Scotia Dinosaurs exhibit will include casts of dinosaur bones and footprints found along the shores of the Bay of Fundy near Parrsboro, as well as video that shows the 3D scanning and digital reconstruction of the rich deposit of at least six dinosaur skeletons that have are being studied at the Fundy Geological Museum.

In 2015, the eDinos.ca website will be more active with updates of the 3D scanning and other projects going on at the Fundy Geological Museum.

Thank you

Thank you to all the visitors and members who have made donations to support the research and education programs. Your support is so valuable and greatly appreciated.  Please continue to follow along during the exciting year ahead.

If you have questions, or just want to let us know what you are thinking, leave some comments below.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday filled with new dinosaurs and adventure.

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News

New Field Season Begins

Yesterday marked the start of a new year of field work. The sky was threatening rain, so there was only enough time for one hour of quick prospecting. Attention was focused on examining a couple of sites where fossils have been found in previous years. Wedge was on this trip, looking for tennis balls that may have washed up with the tide. He’s an eternal optimist.

Wedge at Wassons - 2014
Wedge looks for fossil tennis balls on the beach at Wasson Bluff.

The dinosaur site did not show any new exposed bone. The cliff has eroded significantly though – so there is now some concern about the top part of the cliff. It looks like the cliff is slightly undercut up higher, which increases the risk of a rapid collapse. Further assessment is required, but it appears that the site is unsafe for field work until the profile of the cliff improves. The upper part of the cliff will have to let go before additional work is likely to occur below.

Further down the beach, another site seems to hold great potential for new discoveries.  The site was discovered during last year’s field work, when Mary Leaman and Kathy Ogden found many small bone fragments among the sandstone which represents an ancient river channel.  There has been considerable erosion over the winter but there are new bone fragment actively eroding from the cliff and the site is reasonably safe for field work.

2014 Fieldsite

Plans will be put in place to do several days of field work at this site this year.  If you are interested in helping with some field work, contact research@earthquake-dinosaurs.ca.  At the very least you may want to drop by and see the field work going on when researchers are on site. Make sure you LIKE the http://facebook.com/EarthquakeDinosaurs page to get regular updates about field work.

Fossils Protected By Law

All visitors to Nova Scotia should remember that paleontology resources in the province are protected by Special Places Protection legislation.  It is an offense to remove any fossil material that is exposed.  If you find something, you should contact the Nova Scotia Museum or Fundy Geological Museum and tell the curators/staff what you found and where.

Questions?

Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you have.