The discovery of a new dinosaur species, the first unique to B.C. has been confirmed by a Victoria palaeontologist. (Photo Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum)

VIDEO: B.C. researcher unveils province’s first unique dinosaur discovery

Royal BC Museum palaeonotologist confirms discovery of ‘Ferrisaurus sustutensis’

A Victoria palaeontologist’s more than 10 years of research have paid off with the historic discovery of an entirely new species of dinosaur and the first dinosaur species unique to the province.

“Buster” was discovered in 1971 near Sustut River in northern B.C. when a geologist noticed a “mysterious claw” among the rocks near the railroad. It was one of the first dinosaurs skeletons discovered in B.C., but it would be nearly five decades before it had a name.

READ ALSO: Victoria researcher links tail evolution of species separated by 300 million years

At the Royal BC Museum, curator of palaeontology Victoria Arbour’s research identified the dinosaur as an entirely new species, the ‘Ferrisaurus sustutensis,’ meaning “the iron lizard from the Sustut River.” Arbour prefers to call her discovery “Buster.”

The Ferrisaurus is a new species in a rare family of dinosaurs called ‘Leptoceratopsidae,’ described by the museum as “hornless, parrot-beaked plant-eaters closely related to the Triceratops.” At about 1.75 metres long and weighing around 330 pounds, the dinosaur was similar in size to a bighorn sheep.

Victoria Arbour, the Royal BC Museum’s curator of palaeontology conducted years of studying to uncover a news species of dinosaur: the Ferrisaurus sustutensis. (Photo Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum)

“It’s very exciting because it’s the first unique dinosaur, sort of the first new dinosaur species from British Columbia, which isn’t a place that’s super well-known for dinosaurs, even though we do actually have some fossils in the province,” Arbour tells Black Press Media. “I’m particularly excited because I feel like this is hopefully going to open up a bit of a new era for dinosaur research in the province and hopefully lead to more discoveries in the future”

A statement from Prof. Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum says,“luck may have played a role in discovering this specimen, but it was only through thorough research that the world now recognizes this as a new species. This spectacular news is yet another example of how the Royal BC Museum advances knowledge of the natural world through hard work in the collections and the field.”

On Thursday, Arbour and co-author David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum published the discovery in the the peer-reviewed scientific journal PeerJ – the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences.

READ ALSO: Buy your own dinosaur fossil for as low as $7

Buster’s bones and other fossils from the same region helped the palaeontologist learn about B.C. 67 million years ago, when dinosaurs walked the province’s rugged landscape. Two years ago, Arbour led an expedition to Sustut River, searching near the Sustut basin to find the site where Buster’s claw was discovered nearly 50 years earlier.

The expedition turned up new fossils including plants and part of a turtle, all of which have joined Buster as part of the Royal BC Museum’s collection.

Visitors can learn more about Buster and his story at a Pocket Gallery display called ‘BC’s Mountain Dinosaur,’ located in the museum’s main floor, accessible to all visitors free of charge until Feb. 26, 2020.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Mystery thrillers were Sylvan Lake’s popular reads in 2019

Half of the top 10 borrowed titles from Sylvan Lake’s library in 2019 were mystery crime thrillers

School busses once again running in Sylvan Lake

School busses did not run for three days this week due to the extreme cold temperatures

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

Advance care planning helps you document your healthcare wishes

It’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read