Possible ceratopsian track discovered near Tumbler Ridge

District of Tumbler Ridge staff help recover a possible ceratopsian track fossil on August 15th. Photo by Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation

TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. — After the first dinosaur skull in the province’s history was found near Tumbler Ridge last month, palaeontologists searched the surrounding area and discovered a dinosaur track that is probably unique in B.C.

The fossil, weighing over 200 kilograms, was discovered by Drs. Richard McCrea and Lisa Buckley near Flatbed Creek. After he was approached, the District of Tumbler Ridge’s Director of Operations and Infrastructure Doug Beale got approval to help retrieve the fossil. On August 15th, District staff used a backhoe and picker truck to recover the rock and transport it to the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre for further study.

“The District and Public Works were more than happy to assist with the relocation and display of the fossil and are pleased with the outcome,” said Beale. “Being a part of the community as a whole is important to all of our employees, who take pride in Tumbler Ridge and the work we do in and around this beautiful town.”

The track appears to be made by a dinosaur that walked on all four limbs, and is much larger than anything that Dr. McCrea has previously seen in the area. According to the Tumbler Ridge Museum, the size, shape, and proportion of the track suggest that it may have been made by a ceratopsian, a group of dinosaurs that includes Triceratops. However, palaeontologists say that only a few ceratopsian tracks and trackways have been described worldwide, making confident identification difficult.

“We greatly appreciate collaborating with the District of Tumbler Ridge in the acquisition of this unusual track specimen,” said Dr. McCrea “This track is an important addition to the PRPRC’s collections and it further demonstrates that the Peace Region of B.C. is an invaluable source of this province’s palaeontological heritage.”