The Dig Experience - Tyrrell Museum

Saturday, 29 June 2013. 

In preparation for our Summer camp, that includes a trip to the Burgess Shale, we  got a bit of training on being a Paleontologist. 

Tyrrell museum offers the Dig experience to help you know more about the field and the interesting discovery work these professionals do. 

We asked if Horseshoe canyon was still the same experience and they indicated you could still climb down into the canyon and hike around. They told us of an even steeper canyon, the Horse Thief Canyon. This one is just a little further past the museum. We saw the sign for it as we were leaving. So some day we'll have to plan a hike into that canyon as well. 


Team Members

Karl Burndorfer, David Procter  - Scout Leaders
Ethan Conrad. RJ Laigo, Michael Laigo, Issac Gagnon, Kelly Zaugg, Seth Ek, Tayson Saravia  - Scouts
Hector Saravia,  - Parents

Photo Library 

DSCN1923.JPG (1841191 bytes) Field training start. DSCN1924.JPG (1742255 bytes) Some of the bones are already exposed. DSCN1925.JPG (1796161 bytes) OK, so how do we tell a fossil from a rock?  
 DSCN1927.JPG (1537288 bytes) Here's an Abertasorus tooth DSCN1926.JPG (1559746 bytes) Notice the serrated edge DSCN1928.JPG (1604271 bytes) Finger tip bone of a herbivore  DSCN1929.JPG (1821798 bytes) For tools you get an Awl, and a dental pick for removing material around the fossil. Paint brush and tooth brush for sweeping and cleaning the work area and a bucket to collect the plaster etc.
DSCN1930.JPG (1722048 bytes) So what do you think you got there? DSCN1931.JPG (1750706 bytes) Don't poke that thing too near the bone. DSCN1932.JPG (1725754 bytes) Try the dental pick DSCN1933.JPG (1728606 bytes) Maybe I should become a dentist?
DSCN1934.JPG (1578835 bytes) Keep poking and scratching, it's slowly coming more visible. DSCN1935.JPG (1600521 bytes) This is hard stuff to pick off. DSCN1936.JPG (1778668 bytes) A misting service is available at no extra cost.  DSCN1937.JPG (1814265 bytes) Yea, all over me, that's good. Much cooler now. 
DSCN1938.JPG (1799394 bytes) Yes, me too please. DSCN1939.JPG (1580551 bytes) Check it out, I think it's a skull bone. DSCN1940.JPG (1743415 bytes)  Just a bit more...  DSCN1941.JPG (1789997 bytes) I'll pry a bit here, Pop!. Look a huge piece just came off.
DSCN1942.JPG (1592311 bytes) Slowly more fossils are getting exposed. DSCN1943.JPG (1826993 bytes) The staff really are good to you out here. Just behind the ears a bit, thanks. DSCN1944.JPG (1615980 bytes) Oh, it's really for wetting the fossils DSCN1945.JPG (1634043 bytes) Check out this chunk!
DSCN1946.JPG (1809780 bytes) Got some major plaster off here.  DSCN1947.JPG (1774544 bytes) So this looks like some rib bones here.  DSCN1948.JPG (1760755 bytes) This I think is the pelvis bone. DSCN1949.JPG (1732646 bytes) Oh, here's a nice piece coming off, just let me pry it a bit more...
DSCN1950.JPG (1760443 bytes) Think they'll be mad if we tell them the bone came with it?  DSCN1951.JPG (1740547 bytes) No, Good.  Here's the piece of bone.  DSCN1952.JPG (1611592 bytes) We still got a fair bit of work here before we can figure out what this is.  DSCN1953.JPG (1742672 bytes) Another big chuck off.
DSCN1954.JPG (1822078 bytes) Looks kind of like a vertebrate  DSCN1955.JPG (1602210 bytes) maybe it's an arm. DSCN1956.JPG (1609620 bytes) I think it could be parts of a large foot. DSCN1957.JPG (1632408 bytes) Not bad for a days work out in the scorching hot sun. 
DSCN1958.JPG (1661557 bytes) Definitely a big creature. DSCN1959.JPG (1821726 bytes) Check out these mountains dear. DSCN1960.JPG (1854778 bytes) We'll bring a picnic and have the whole family out.  Then then they gave us a nice post card so we could sent it to our family & friends and share the experience.


The Museum

Horseshoe Canyon

Botanist Corner