TUMBLER RIDGE, BC- According to recent release from Tumbler Ridge Museum, an unusual assemblage of 112-million-year-old fossil tracks has been discovered southwest of Tumbler Ridge.
The tracks and trackways were discovered on a steep slope in 2014, in the valley of ‘Ninesting Creek,’ a tributary of the Wolverine River.
In six trackways, twenty tracks were identified. Three distinct track types were present: present: large three-toed bird tracks, larger, four-toed dinosaur tracks and pterosaur tracks.
The bird tracks are from the Mesozoic Era, and among the largest in the world from this time period.
The pterosaur tracks are the first discovered in BC, but have previously been discovered in Alberta, Alaska and Western USA.
They appear to be the oldest tracks identified in Canada to date.
At the time the tracks were made, the area was likely at the margin of an open lake basin or a floodplain pond.
At the time the area would have been located close to the Arctic Circle, with long periods of winter darkness.
This discovery contributes to the importance of northeastern BC as an area rich in fossil track sites.
The site is located in the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark.
More than 70 vertebrate track sites have been identified in the Geopark to date.