Successful Efforts to Relocate Century-Old Dinosaur Quarries in the Badlands of Southern Alberta.
During the pre-WWII “Great Canadian Dinosaur Rush,” about 500 dinosaur skulls and skeletons were collected in southern Alberta, Canada. Documenting precise locations of fossil finds, including spatial and stratigraphic context, is a major tenet of vertebrate palaeontology. Without this critical information, the scientific value of any fossil is greatly diminished or forever lost. Early collectors gave locations of their finds by referring to how far downriver from a town (or now long-gone ferry crossing) a quarry was, which side of the river, and a ballparked elevation. These were always rough numbers. Trying to relocate any given site a century later in complex and eroding badlands terrain is difficult. Some quarries were marked in 1936 with steel markers set in concrete, but most sites were never marked. Working alone or with others, Darren Tanke has relocated roughly 80 lost quarries in the Drumheller Valley and Dinosaur Provincial Park. Using Darren’s technique, an additional 10 sites have been relocated by colleagues. This talk will present the process used to find lost quarries, identify discovered but unidentified “mystery quarries” using quarry garbage analysis, and discuss an ongoing project on an ankylosaur quarry worked more than 100 years ago that is producing new bones.