Lisa's Corner: New fossils, new stories

Lisa Goudy
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A lot of people love dinosaurs. Maybe it’s because we’re fascinated with times before people walked. Perhaps massive creatures that are no longer to be found today intrigue us. Or maybe we just love fossils and thinking about what was.

Lisa Goudy

Whatever the reason, dinosaurs are an extremely interesting topic to think about. When the Western Development Museum had Scotty the T-Rex’s skull on display as part of a travelling exhibit from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum last summer, it was a huge hit.

I am also very interested in dinosaurs. So you can imagine my interest when I read that a new pterosaur species was discovered in Brazil. What new stories have we discovered with these new fossils?

According to an article (New Desert-Dwelling Pterosaur Unearther in Brazil) on the Smithsonian magazine website,, a Brazilian research team found fossils from the flying reptile that lived between 75 and 87 million years ago in the Caiuá Desert. There were hundreds of specimens of the species discovered, named Caiuajara dobruskii.

“The discovery provides a window into the pterosaur world, revealing that these animals were quick to take flight after birth, and that they may have been social creatures that nested in big, bustling communities,” said the article. “Geologic evidence puts the bone bed in the late Cretaceous period and suggests that pterosaurs lived near small lakes in the surrounding desert, as well as along the coast of northern Brazil.”

That got me to thinking about other fossils discovered in Saskatchewan apart from Scotty, who was found in Eastend.

I found an article on the National Post website dated Nov. 28, 2011 detailing a 66-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton that was found in the historic Assiniboia district from the Frenchman River Valley near Eastend. That species was named Thescelosaurus assiniboiensis.

There is a lot of hidden history on the places we walk, talk and live. Millions of years ago there were actually mountains and volcanoes in Saskatchewan, according to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum website.

“They were formed during the Precambrian Period when two tectonic plates collided in the eastern part of the province, causing the edge of one plate to push underneath the other,” the website said.

“The lower plate melted partially in the earth’s hot mantle, and this newly melted lava forced its way up through cracks and faults in the upper plate to erupt at the surface, forming a belt of mountain ranges and active volcanoes.”

Given that the Trans Hudson, a shallow ocean, covered half of the province and the fault line where the plates met, it added, the activity happened underwater. Thanks to erosion from rain and wind, the mountains wore away.

Most people are aware how much history is contained in this beautiful city. Moose Jaw is a historical city. With many heritage sites, the city’s history is rich.

I can only imagine what the area would’ve looked like millions of years ago. We would’ve likely been underwater.

A lot of people like to take a bite out of dinosaur history. We’ll never know exactly what it was really like when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but it’s fun to imagine and to learn more about these giant beasts that once ruled our planet.

Lisa Goudy can be reached at 306-691-1289 or follow her on Twitter @lisagoudy

Organizations: Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Western Development Museum, Smithsonian magazine National Post

Geographic location: Brazil, Saskatchewan, Eastend Northern Brazil Frenchman River Valley Moose Jaw

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