Tom Cockburn

Bone up on dino facts at weekend Fossil Fair

Victoria Palaeontology Society's 16th annual Fossil Fair runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 24 and 25, at 3873 Swan Lake Rd.

In 1996, as hype was escalating for a much-anticipated Jurassic Park sequel, a group of Victorians, already entrenched in a world rife with dinosaurs, fossils and extinct species, opened its doors to the public.

The Victoria Palaeontology Society hosts its 16th annual Fossil Fair this weekend, giving inquisitive minds an opportunity to learn about the creatures that inhabited our planet tens of millions of years ago.

“It’s very, very exciting. Palaeontology is the whole evolution of life on this planet, and it’s the only record we have,” said Tom Cockburn, vice-chair of the society.

And while the great dinosaurs you see on film weren’t all that common in this part of Canada, Cockburn and his colleagues at the society have discovered new fossilized specimens right in our own backyard.

“The people of the palaeontology society have made a number of discoveries … including a number of new species that have been named,” Cockburn said. “And there’s a number of things that haven’t been reported from the Sooke Formation – there are new species probably in there … mostly snails and bivalves.”

These sorts of fossils will be on display at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary during this weekend’s fair.

Most fossilized discoveries made by society members wind up stored at the discoverer’s home for safekeeping. Anything deemed scientifically important is donated to the Royal B.C. Museum.

Also on display for the public to touch this weekend is the large femur of a Hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed Alberta during the Cretaceous period (upwards of 136 million years ago).

The Fossil Fair, which mainly features Vancouver Island and B.C. fossils, is great for all ages, Cockburn said. “There’s always something a little bit different, something new to see.” New – even if it is millions of years old.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday (March 24 and 25), at 3873 Swan Lake Rd.

Admission is by donation.

For more information on the Victoria Palaeontology Society, visit vicpalaeo.org.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Residents say Monday’s fatal crash in Saanich wasn’t unexpected

Speed has long been a concern for neighbours in the Cumberland and Union roads area

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Reynolds Secondary principal pens letter to parents after student involved in fatal crash

Various supports available to students, staff and community

Oak Bay United preparing entirely new development application

Three scenarios being considered for Granite Street redesign

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read