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Paleontologists looking ahead after productive season

238 fossils were discovered in the Peace Region this summer. As the snow flies and fossil collection season wraps up for the winter, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Assistant Curator Derek Larson is looking back at what he says was a very productive season.

“This summer was a good summer for paleontology in the Peace Region. We collected 238 fossil specimens in the area as well as a number of bones from Pipestone Creek… It was very productive and is going to result in a lot of research projects.”

Collection season usually runs from June to August. Next season will mark 45 years since the discovery of the Pipestone Creek bonebed, which is said to be one of the densest fossil sites in the world.

Looking ahead to next June, Larson says groups will be heading back out to bonebeds on the Wapiti River and Nose Creek. He says they also plan to explore a new site that was found recently by a resident.

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“Work is certainly going to continue at a number of sites that are already well established but we’re also exploring brand new sites including one that was just brought to our attention on the Beaverlodge River.”

All the fossils collected this year will be taken to the University of Alberta to be cleaned and catalogued, which Larson says could take a few years. Once that’s done they will be taken back to the museum to be put on display.

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