[BCMA] FW: Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation - For Immediate Release

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Thu Dec 2 09:06:54 PST 2021


Registered charity number
863295853 RR0001

[cid:image001.jpg at 01D7E6D2.60D01810]

Box 1348
Tumbler Ridge, BC
V0C 2W0


email  gallery at trmf.ca<mailto:gallery at trmf.ca>

phone  (250) 242 3466

December 2, 2021

Tumbler Ridge Crocodiles

Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia - A recently published article in the international journal Cretaceous Research features some of the finest swim traces of crocodiles ever discovered. The site was identified in 2015 by local geologist Kevin Sharman, within the Quintette Mine operated by Teck Resources.

In an unprecedented and remarkable example of collaboration between industry and science in Tumbler Ridge, Teck Resources built a 200-metre access road to the site to get their heavy equipment there. This enabled the four large slabs containing the swim traces to be transported to the Tumbler Ridge Museum with the help of LaPrairie Crane.

The swim traces are from the Cretaceous Period and are approximately 112 million years old. The crocodiles were swimming in a tidal channel on a low-lying coastal plain, and scratching the muddy bottom with their claws, creating 'swim traces'. In places there is evidence that they also dragged their tails. It is possible to estimate the length of the crocodiles from the distance between the toes in the swim, and it appears that they were about a metre in length. The paper compared the local crocodile swim traces with those from a similar time period from the western USA.

While the Tumbler Ridge area and the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark are well known for dinosaurs, there is something special about crocodiles. They did not become extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, but have 'survivor status', and are still with us today with a recognizably similar body plan.

Martin Lockley of the University of Colorado was the lead author of the publication, and Guy Plint of the University of Western Ontario was the second author. Co-authors from the Tumbler Ridge Museum were Charles Helm and Kevin Sharman.

A replica of the largest surface containing the swim traces is on exhibit in the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery. All four of the slabs containing the traces are safely housed at the Tumbler Ridge Museum.

Subsequent exploration in the Tumbler Ridge area has led to the identification of further crocodile sites. This is an active area of research, and future scientific publications describing these findings can be anticipated.

The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation researches, displays, and archives over 300 million years of Northeast BC history. It features displays on dinosaur and other fossils, tracks and traces, offers trackway tours, and programs for children and families. The Tumbler Ridge Museum Human History Gallery is housed in the Community Centre with free access during regular Centre hours.

UNESCO Global Geoparks are grassroots initiatives, characterized by sites and landscapes of internationally significant geology where all aspects of our interactions with the earth are celebrated. The Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark received its official designation in 2014. With glaciated Rocky Mountain peaks and 75 million year-old tyrannosaurid trackways, the Geopark is an outdoor adventure lovers' paradise surrounding the community of Tumbler Ridge, BC.

- 30 -

For further inquiries please contact:
Zena Conlin
Executive Director
Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
zena.conlin at trmf.ca<mailto:zenaconlin.trmf at gmail.com>

Charles Helm
Scientific Advisor
Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
helm.c.w at gmail.com<mailto:helm.c.w at gmail.com>

Attached media:

  *   Photo at site - One of four slabs showing crocodilian swim traces at the Quintette Mine site. Credit Kevin Sharman
  *   Photogrammetry 1 and 2 - depicts 3D detail of crocodilian swim traces, scale bars in metres. Credit Charles Helm
  *   Detail from replica - from Tumbler Ridge Museum gallery display, distance between outer black dots is 30cm. Credit Charles Helm

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