Dinosaurs found in Nova Scotia

Dinosaurs found in Nova Scotia

Sandra and her son asked us “What dinosaurs are found in Nova Scotia?

Great question, because Nova Scotia is home to Canada’s oldest dinosaurs. The bones of the dinosaurs found in Nova Scotia are 200 million years old; over twice as old as the dinosaurs from Alberta!

Dinosaur bones have been found at Wasson Bluff, on the shores of the Bay of Fundy near Parrsboro. Several types of dinosaurs have been found.  Some of the dinosaurs are known from multiple, nearly complete skeletons, and others are known only from teeth, or footprints.


   Type:  Sauropodomorph dinosaur
Name: currently unnamed, study ongoing
Specimens: At least five specimens of early sauropodomorph dinosaurs have been recovered from field work during the past twenty years.  These were herbivorous (plant eating) dinosaurs, with long necks and tails. These were the abundant herbivores during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. Descendants of these early sauropodomorph dinosaurs would evolve into Sauropod dinosaurs like Apatosaurus, the largest animals to ever walk on the earth.
See them: You can see real bones from these specimens at the Fundy Geological Museum.

   Type:  Ornithischian dinosaur
Name:  resembles Fabrosaurus
Specimens:  Several isolated teeth have been discovered from the “fish bed” at Wasson Bluff. These were very small and nimble herbivorous dinosaurs. Museum researchers continue to look for more specimens of these early  dinosaurs.  Ornithischian dinosaurs became a very diverse group of herbivorous dinosaurs throughout the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
See them:  They are currently not on display, and research is ongoing.

   Type:  Theropod dinosaur
Name:  currently unnamed
Specimens:  Only isolated examples of serrated teeth have been found at Wasson Bluff from this terrifying meat eating dinosaurs.  These were small theropod dinosaurs, similar to Coelophysis, that likely hunted in small groups and may displayed social behaviour.
See them:  Several teeth are on display at the Fundy Geological Museum.

Dinosaur footprints have been found at several sites along the shores of the Bay of Fundy. These footprints have their own names and classification systems, but generally they relate to the types of dinosaurs found above for which we have found fossil bones.   More to come on these… soon.



Parrsboro Highschool Geology

Parrsboro Highschool Geology

Today, I gave a talk to the Grade 12 Geology class at Parrsboro Regional Highschool. After I shared some information about a recent research discovery made at the Museum, one student asked “Do you know Don Reid? He’s my grandfather“.   I was impressed with the students in the geology class, they were all attentive and engaged. It is exciting to see the long tradition of interest in the natural history of the Bay of Fundy here in Parrsboro.


Photo from the DNR Website

It’s spring here in small coastal Town of Parrsboro.  Although it doesn’t yet feel like it with mountains of snow that still bury our buildings, fields and coastlines, the big melt is on the way. I reminded the students to stay away from the cliffs, especially during the spring of such a difficult winter.  It was helpful to remind the students that geology is an active process. Erosion of the shore very high when the deep frost line melts and the ground saturates with water during the spring rains.Several students expressed interest in volunteering at the Museum, and it seems likely some of them will become involved.

Students can develop valuable experience while volunteering at the Museum. Some may enjoy the thrill of working of fossils in the research lab, while others like being outside to assist with fossil prospecting or helping with a coastal monitoring research program. There are also opportunities for students to learn and develop digital skills (multimedia, animation) that will be useful experience for their future jobs.

Interested in the Student Volunteer Program? Contact the Fundy Geological Museum.

3D Study of Jurassic Dinosaurs from Nova Scotia

3D Study of Jurassic Dinosaurs from Nova Scotia

Fossil Research Lab Update : 1502-1
Fundy Geological Museum

3D Scan of Leg-Foot

The museum researchers are creating a 3D scan of the block containing the lower leg and foot of one of the Jurassic dinosaurs from Nova Scotia. After repositioning the tibia using a custom-made plaster cradle, the block is being imaged for photogrammatry scanning.

3d Scanning of Jurassic Dinosaurs from Nova Scotia

Here is a preliminary visual analysis completed with the 3D scan.

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3D Scan of Skull Block

After completing the 3D scan of the foot block, the skull block will be 3D scanned to study how the bones of the skull were displaced when the skeleton was buried. Below is an animation that shows how the skull bones appear to have been displaced just prior or during burial, 200 million years ago.

Visit Parrsboro to See More

When you visit the Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, you have an opportunity to look into the Fossil Research Lab to see the fossils being studied. Real dinosaur bones are also on display in the museum’s gallery.

This winter the Fundy Geological Museum is changing some of the displays of the Nova Scotia dinosaur specimens. New specimens will be put on display in April 2015.

Questions/Comments – Please leave a comment below.