Richard Osborne had been running an excavator on the upper slopes of Babcock Mountain when the tracks caught his eye in a pile of rocks.
“He says he is always looking for that kind of stuff because his daughter is really interested in it,” Senior Geologist Supervisor Kevin Sharman said when dropping of the slab.
It’s no surprise to the museum that the tracks were found in a potential coal mine, as it explains that coal is “the slow-cooked remains of the swampy forests in which the dinosaurs roamed, and the nearby sandy areas were suitable for making tracks.” The find is a particularly interesting one, as it contains the tracks of at least three dinosaurs, including an ankylosaur, a medium theropod, and a small theropod, as well as plant fossils.
Richard McCrea, Curator of the Research Centre, is thankful to Teck Resources bringing the tracks to the museum, and hopes to have it on display soon.
“We have a history of working on fossil tracks within Teck coal mines in south-eastern British Columbia, so it is good to see the same collaborative spirit at work closer to the museum,” he remarks. “We would like to put this specimen on display in the near future, but the track slab is too heavy for our existing display cabinets in the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery, so we will have to construct a custom display cabinet to house it”.
The delivery also comes at a time when the application for the Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark to become a member of the Global Geoparks Network is about to be sent to UNESCO. By coincidence, South Peace MLA Mike Bernier happened to be touring the facility at the time to learn more about the project when the slab was delivered, and was able to help bring it into the museum.