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A Strong Season at the T. Rex Discovery Centre

Released on October 4, 2017

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM)’s T.rex Discovery Centre saw a boost in attendance in 2017 as increasing numbers of tourists trekked to Eastend to explore Saskatchewan’s fascinating fossil history.

The centre, open to the public from the Victoria Day to Labour Day long weekends, drew visitors from across Saskatchewan, Canada and as far away as Europe, Asia and New Zealand.  The number of visitors to the centre climbed by five per cent over the previous year and since 2014, visitation has grown by 28 per cent.

“The T.rex Discovery Centre is internationally renowned as a centre for palaeontological research, but it is probably best known as the home of Scotty, Canada’s and perhaps the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex fossil,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “Within close proximity to Grasslands National Park, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, the T.rex Discovery Centre is a destination for people to further their understanding of our province’s natural history, while enjoying fantastic family-friendly events and programming.”

This summer, public events at the T.rex Discovery Centre included Canada Day activities, Dino Days, the T.rex Discovery Centre Gala as well as a celebration for Scotty’s Birthday.

Citizens participated in palaeontological experiences including working with RSM palaeontologists in a volunteer fossil-preparation program in the lab and joining RSM palaeontologists in public fossil hunts in the Eastend area and in Grasslands National Park.

Public digs contributed to the realization that a number of fossils that the RSM has been collecting for the past two years are actually part of a relatively intact juvenile Brontothere, a rhino-like mammal, which staff have nicknamed “Bitsy”.  Public exploration at Grasslands National Park, entitled “Fossil Fever”, led to the discovery and excavation of “TriceraJosh”, a triceratops horn-core and frill piece, as well as 65 million-year-old snails, clams, and amber deposits from multiple dinosaur bonebeds.

With the help and co-operation of landowners near the park, RSM researchers also found another partial Triceratops and some small T. rex bones.  RSM staff at the centre hosted and collaborated with a large number of national and international researchers including representatives from the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology, the Royal Tyrrell Museum and several universities.  Collaborative field expeditions led to a series of key fossil discoveries including a rare Troodon metatarsal (foot bone), parts of a Hadrosaur (duck -billed dinosaur), a Triceratops frill and a theropod tooth.

Thirty-six children took part in “Young Explorers Hit the Road”, a camp offered by the Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.  After spending the first part of the week at the RSM, explorers ventured to the T.rex Discovery Centre for three days and two nights to learn about dinosaurs and interact with palaeontologists.

A generous donation provided funding for twenty of the young explorers, who were invited to take part in the camp through collaboration with the Dream Brokers program.  For many camp-goers, this was a summer they will not forget.

Throughout the year, RSM staff continue to work on exhibits and improvements to the centre in anticipation of next year’s season which begins May 19, 2018.  The T.rex Discovery Centre is located at #1 T-rex Drive in Eastend.

Visit www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/trex for more information.

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For more information, contact:

Jill Sveinson
Parks, Culture and Sport
Regina
Phone: 306-787-5781
Email: jill.sveinson@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-527-8152

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