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Tag Archives: Grand Rapids

Finding the Impossible, Part 1: Getting There

  This year, our Museum foyer has featured an exhibit of unusual fossils in the New Acquisitions Case. This exhibit, Finding the Impossible: Unique Tropical Fossils from William Lake, Manitoba, included a video “slide show” that documented the expeditions during which we collected these fossils. My colleague remarked to me the other day that this slide show should be shared widely using the Museum blog; this post, and some subsequent ones, will do just that!     The exhibit panel’s text gives a brief outline of the project: How does an animal become a fossil? How is a fossil jellyfish even possible? Only bones, teeth and shells are commonly fossilized, while…

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Mud, Glorious Mud?

I have often been told by members of the public that, “it must be so exciting to do paleontological fieldwork.” This is true, it can be very exciting to visit new places, to discover and collect fossils that were previously unknown to science. But often the conditions are such that the fieldwork is more of a necessary evil. It is a step that must be passed to acquire essential specimens, rather than a pleasure in itself. Last week was a case in point. I had planned to travel to the Grand Rapids Uplands of central Manitoba with Dave Rudkin (Royal Ontario Museum) and Michael Cuggy (University of Saskatchewan) to carry…

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The Cold Road

It is 7 am, somewhere on the curves near Woodlands, Manitoba, and the sky is still completely dark. The rain is coming down harder now and approaching headlights are blurred by the slicked windshield. I usually love the open road, but this driving is far from fun. We are well past Lundar before the late dawn. The traffic has diminished now and the rain has eased a bit, but the wind is rising. At the Ashern Petro-Can we stop for fuel: unleaded for the Jeep and junk food for the humans. Ed takes over the wheel for the next monotonous stretch. Today we plan to go to William Lake, well…

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