An excavator operator made an unexpected discovery while on the job in late July. Warren Garbitt of Moberly Lake came across an unusual bumpy slab and reported it, only for the piece to be identified as a 97 million year old ankylosaur trackway.
In a release from the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, Curator of Palaeontology Rich McCrea said, “This find is particularly significant because of one deep footprint with three visible digit impressions. The first ankylosaur tracks described from Canada had four obvious digit impressions, however we have encountered a number of three-toed morphs which we are currently describing in the scientific literature. This find then adds to the small, but growing population of three-toed ankylosaur tracks.”
The tracks add to a list of discoveries this summer near Tumbler Ridge. Crocodilian trackways, theropod footprints, three large three-dimensional Triassic coelacanth skulls, and the most complete thalattosaur skeleton ever found in North America are among some of the discoveries.
The piece will eventually be moved to the museum to be displayed.