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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Sidney Lions, Peninsula-raised designer craft nearly 200 masks for area seniors

182 masks were distributed to four Saanich Peninsula care homes

What Sooke School District schools will look like on first day of reopening

No water fountains, rotating schedules and face masks not required

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read