Last weekend, I got an update from Reader Beastie, who is now happily living in Saskatchewan in Canada! This time, instead of helping out on the farm, he made an educational trip to visit a completely different type of animal…
The T-rex Discovery Centre in Eastend, Southwest Saskatchewan, is home to Scotty – one of the largest and most complete tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever found! There’s a great story behind the discovery too… the first pieces of Scotty to be excavated – a tooth and a tail vertebra – were actually unearthed by a local schoolteacher, who had joined a team of paleontologists from the Royal Museum of Saskatchewan on one of their digs to learn about how fossils are found and identified. Imagine how he must have felt when he found out what he’d dug up!
It was a couple of years before the rest of Scotty made it out of the ground… excavation began in mid 1994, and since then these remains have helped paleontologists to better understand this most celebrated of dinosaurs, and how life was for them in the Frenchman River Valley 65 million years ago. Since the skeleton is almost complete, the museum has also been able to make a cast of each individual bone and reassemble a life-size Scotty for visitors to meet! You can see Reader Beastie posing with the replica in the main photo… and here he is bravely demonstrating exactly how fearsome t-rex teeth were!
Of course, t-rex wasn’t the only creature roaming prehistoric Saskatchewan! Reader Beastie also got up close and personal with a triceratops (my own favourite dinosaur)…
… And a brontothere – a large prehistoric mammal that was a distant relative of modern horses, rhinos and tapirs!
He even came across some dinosaur poop! Lucky it’s fossilised… Am I the only one thinking of that scene from “Jurassic Park” right now?
All in all, it looks like Reader Beastie had a super day out! He might even consider a change of career… Hello Paleontologist Beastie!