April 11, 2016

Provincial Fossil Online Vote Now Open!

Saskatchewan will soon have a new provincial emblem – the provincial fossil.  Citizens across the province are invited to cast their vote by visiting the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) website.

The RSM has been accepting paper votes since November 2015.  The public are now able to cast a vote online or in person until April 25, 2016.

“It is great that the RSM has been able to facilitate province-wide engagement for this fun and exciting process,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Mark Docherty said.  “Not only will citizens help select a new emblem to represent our province, they will also discover many interesting facts about our palaeontological history.”

The seven provincial fossil candidates represent fossils found in communities across Saskatchewan including Eastend, Herschel, Carrot River/Arborfield, Kyle and Ponteix.

The public can learn about each fossil’s unique characteristics by reading the information sheets posted at the exhibit and on the RSM website.

The candidate list includes:

  1. “Mo” the Ponteix Long-necked Plesiosaur, a giant marine reptile that lived 78 million years ago when the province was a shallow inland sea.
  2. “Scotty” the Tyrannosaurus rex, found near Eastend in 1991, is one of the largest T. rex specimens ever found.
  3. “Kyle Mammoth”, a 12,000 year-old giant elephant-like Woolly Mammoth, was found in the 1960s.
  4. The Herschel Short-necked Plesiosaur, a marine reptile, is a one-of-a-kind specimen.
  5. The Brontothere, found in the Cypress Hills near Eastend, is a rhino-like mammal from 35 million years ago.
  6. “Big Bert”, the most complete and best-preserved specimen of this 92 million year-old crocodile was discovered along the bank of the Carrot River in 1991.
  7. Thescelosaur, a species unique to Saskatchewan, is a plant-eating dinosaur known from the Frenchman River Valley where it was first discovered in 1968.

Discover more about the candidates at www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/education/inquiry-project/fossil-candidateswhere information is available in both English and French.

The Provincial Fossil Campaign 2016 also features a video competition aimed at Grade 7 students who are invited to submit videos promoting their choices for Saskatchewan’s fossil.  The deadline for submissions has been extended to April 25.  The winning classroom will get a visit from RSM Palaeontologist Tim Tokaryk.

More information can be found at www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/education/inquiry-project/fossil-video-contest.  Voting may be done online or at the RSM until April 25, 2016; Saskatchewan’s Provincial Fossil will be announced in May 2016.

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