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‘It gets my heart pumping’: Massive mosasaur fossil found in Morden area

Researchers in the Morden area have made a gigantic, ancient discovery.

Work is underway to unearth a-believed-to-be full-sized fossil of a mosasaur which lived more than 80 million years ago.

“Because (the bones are) very close together, it’s likely that they were from one individual,” said Gerry Peters, a field technician with the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.

Peters made the discovery in June and, since then, he and a number of other researchers have been slowly and carefully exposing the fossil.

“We go from a tractor to paint brushes right away and then start really meticulously cleaning back.”

One discovery has led to several others. So far, they have uncovered a few dozen bones.

A piece of a mosasaur fossil found in the Morden area. the fossil is more than 80 million years old. (Aug, 2, 2023. Source: Jon Hendricks)

“When I find something like this, it gets my heart pumping. Finding one is cool, but when start (saying), ‘oh there’s another one, there’s another one, there’s another one, there’s a different type,’ it gets very exciting.”

The Morden area is known to be a good spot for mosasaur fossils and it’s where “Bruce” was found. It is the largest publicly displayed mosasaur in the world.

“The last few decades, the last few years, we were only finding fossils by chance. But now with the program we are developing here, we are starting to find fossils on purpose,” said Adolfo Cuetara, the executive director of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.

Peters said there are more than 70 species of mosasaur in the world, with three mainly found in Manitoba.

“But you never know when a new species might emerge,” said Peters.

The team hopes the entire fossil will be exposed by the winter and then it will be brought back to the discovery centre for more research.

For those who are looking to catch a glimpse of the fossil being worked on, the centre is offering tours of the site.

Gerry Peters is seen working on removing dirt around massive mosasaur fossil that was recently discovered in the Morden area. (Aug. 2, 2023. Source: Jon Hendricks/CTV News)

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