Fossilized bone discovered near Tumbler Ridge

Dr. Dirk Kotze and his aunt, Sue Orchard, with the fossil bone that Nicky Taylor discovered. Supplied photo.

TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. — Peace Region-based psychiatrist Dr. Dirk Kotze and members of his family made a rare discovery last month.

Dr. Kotze, his wife Nicky Taylor, and his aunt Sue Orchard who was visiting from New Zealand, made visits to the two palaeontology museums in the Peace Region at the end of August. On their third day of touring the area, the trio went exploring in the Tumbler Ridge area, keeping an eye out for interesting rocks and fossils. Before long, Ms. Taylor spotted what looked like a piece of fossilized bone.

“I would have thought nothing of it normally,” said Taylor. “I would probably even have ignored it, but given our experiences the previous two days it was of a lot more interest. I pointed it out to the other two, and Sue picked it up. It was much heavier than we anticipated.”

The group noted the exact location of the find and took photos before Dr. Kotze contacted Dr. Charles Helm with the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre. Palaeontologists Richard McCrea and Lisa Buckley were able to examine the specimen and said that it is unlike anything that has been reported from the region up until now.

The scientists’ initial opinions are that it does not look like an Ice Age bone, but is more likely from the Cretaceous Period from a marine reptile. Details will emerge after further study and consultation, after which this will become a suitable specimen for exhibition in the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge.

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