April 21, 2016

Last Chance to Vote for Saskatchewan's Provincial Fossil

Citizens of Saskatchewan are invited to vote for the fossil they believe best represents Saskatchewan as the next official provincial emblem.  The seven provincial fossil candidates all have interesting features and were discovered in communities across the province.  Voting may be done online or at the RSM until April 25, 2016.

“One of my favourite aspects of this campaign is that people can cast their vote based on a variety of reasons,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Mark Docherty said.  “Whether a vote is cast based on pride of place or the fossil’s unique characteristics; citizens of all ages, living across the entire province can voice their choice.”

The candidates represent fossils found in Eastend, Herschel, Carrot River/Arborfield, Kyle, and Ponteix.  Fossils discovered near Eastend include “Scotty” the Tyrannosaurus rex, the Brontothere which is a rhino-like mammal and the Thescelosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur whose species is unique to Saskatchewan.  From Herschel is the short-necked plesiosaur and from Ponteix is “Mo” the long-necked plesiosaur; both are marine reptiles that lived when the province was a shallow inland sea.  The Carrot River/Arborfield region is home to “Big Bert”, a 92 million year-old crocodile.  Lastly, the elephant-like “Kyle Mammoth” was found in the 1960s near Kyle.

The candidates roamed the earth anywhere from tens of thousands to tens of millions of years ago.  There are plant-eaters and carnivores; those that walked on two or four legs and those that swam.  Some of the fossils are type specimens.  When a fossil is a type specimen, it is the unique specimen that is used as a reference for the description of a new species.

Each and every provincial fossil candidate has features that are truly unique and valuable to the history of life on earth and the field of palaeontology.  The public can learn more about each fossil by reading the information sheets posted at the exhibit and on the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) website at www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/education/inquiry-project/fossil-candidates where information is available in both English and French.

The RSM, located at 2445 Albert Street, is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Visit www.royalsaskmuseum.ca or call 306-787-2815.  Admission is by donation.