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Local dinosaur find generates a flurry of excitement
Sonia Sunger, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Tuesday, August 24, 2010 5:47PM MDT
It's a world-class find, and one that's gaining attention from international journalists to everyday Edmontonians. The discovery of dinosaur bones beneath a west Edmonton neighbourhood continues to generate excitement as excavators find more fossils.
On Monday city officials confirmed that fossils found near the North Saskatchewan River last Thursday are believed to be the remains of two extinct species, the Edmontosaurus and the Albertosaurus.
Two city workers made the discovery while hand-tunneling a sewer tunnel in an area just off Quesnell Crescent last Thursday afternoon.
Mike Burns, a Ph. D. student in paleontology, who was brought on to help with the discovery, says on Tuesday they found even more fossils.
"We found two vertebrae, some ribs…and another tooth, so we are still finding a decent amount of material down there," said Burns.
The find has journalists from the United Kingdom and Australia contacting University of Alberta experts, and also has local residents driving through the Quesnell neighbourhood to get a sense of where this prehistoric find was made.
Heather Workman and her 11-year-old son Gabriel were just a couple of the people who made their way to the excavation site.
"Albertosaurus is quite a famous Tyrannosaurus," said Gabriel.
While Gabriel and his mother made their way to the site of the discovery, they didn't actually get to see the fossils in person. That's prompting some to suggest the city put the fossils on display for public viewing.
"It's a pretty special time and something for us as Edmontonians to celebrate," said Workman.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum has confirmed that this is a significant find and will work with the University of Alberta paleontologists to ensure the fossils are recovered and preserved without causing project delays.
According to the Tyrrell Museum, the Albertosaurus was the top predator of its time and was actually a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex, a dinosaur that lived a few million years later.
Joseph B.Tyrrell discovered the first Albertosaurus in 1884 in the Red Deer River valley. The Albertosaurus is now the most common of the large carnivores found in the province.
The bones will be excavated over the next few days and will then be transported to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller for further study.
With files from Kevin Armstrong