Friday, November 25, 2011

There's More Than Bitumen In Them Thar Hills!

Back during the last ice age the land on which the city of Fort McMurray sits lay under a vast inland sea penned up by ice. As the ice sheet melted and receded the lake drained away, helping to form the Athabasca River valley we see today. (It was this glacial action that was responsible for the creation of the oil sands.) The retreating ice scoured the land north of the city and its action helps explain why north of the city the oil sands are located much closer to the surface than they are to the south of us. Anyhow, as retreating ice left not just bitumen-soaked sand lying around but also the remains of creatures that once roamed the planet so many millions of years ago. Occasionally, some fossil remains turn up as happened recently out at Syncrude...a plesiosaur in this case. (We can't give Drumheller all the credit for Alberta's dino discoveries.)

This is the second major discovery I've heard of this year, the first being back in the Spring at Suncor. Fortunately for the archaeologists called in to examine finds such as these, we have plenty of big shovels and trucks to pitch in and lend a hand. Maybe its just me, but I think it would be really interesting to have our very own dinosaur museum here to showcase all the unique and interesting finds that have been dug up here in recent years.

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