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Kneehill County Media Releases

Posted on: October 12, 2022

Fossil Retrieval at Horseshoe Canyon

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Fossil Retrieval at Horseshoe Canyon

Kneehill County, October 12, 2022 - On October 5, 2022, Kneehill County staff from the Parks and Transportation Departments worked alongside a team from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology to retrieve large dinosaur fossils from a quarry located at Horseshoe Canyon, which is owned and operated in part by Kneehill County. Site access to the fossil location was provided by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which also owns a portion of Horseshoe Canyon. 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum reports that the Horseshoe Canyon Recreational area preserves a fossil record dating back to 69 million years ago, a time interval for which there is poor knowledge of which animals were present in North America. Given this information, any fossil discovery from the Horseshoe Canyon area is potentially of great scientific significance. This particular fossil retrieval highlights a great partnership between these three organizations in preserving Alberta’s historical resources at Horseshoe Canyon, a site where several fossil finds have been reported in recent years.

Partnerships are key to the conservation of parks sites like these, as noted by one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s natural area managers Megan Jensen, “Horseshoe Canyon, including NCC’s Nodwell property, showcases some of Alberta’s best nature, both past and present. By working together to highlight all this special place has to offer, we can captivate and inspire the paleontologists and naturalists of tomorrow.” 

Visitors to Horseshoe Canyon have played a key role in the discovery of new fossils, highlighting the importance of reporting fossils when they are found as they may lead to an exciting new discovery! When a fossil is found, visitors are encouraged to leave the fossil where it is, take photographs (showing the scale if possible and noting any visible features), record the location using GPS coordinates if possible, and leave the fossil where it was found. Fossil finds can be reported to at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. 

For media inquiries, please contact:
 Kneehill County 
 Communications Department 

Nature Conservancy of Canada 
 Sean Feagan, Media & Communications Coordinator 
 Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology 
 Elaine Secord, Head of Marketing & Public Relations

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