Fossil Identification Drop-In

Date(s) - 23/09/2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Come and learn about fossils in your area from a paleontologist. Join Assistant Curator, Derek Larson and learn about Alberta’s fossil heritage. Bring your fossils along for identification.

Fossil Education Event will take place in the Education Classroom. This is a free drop-in event, admission to the Museum is extra.

The museum is not seeking fossil donations at this time, though individuals interested in donating their collections are encouraged to contact the museum


Palaeontologists often rely on people from their local communities to inform them of new finds. If you are lucky enough to find a fossil such as a dinosaur bone or leaf impression, these are the steps you should take to ensure it is safe and can help with scientific research:

  • LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS. Also, much information is lost if a bone is removed from where it came, it may be broken, and other important clues left behind. It is actually illegal to excavate dinosaur fossils in Canada without a permit.
  • RECORD THE LOCATION. The best way to record the spot is with a GPS (most smartphones now have this ability, even without a cellular connection). Also take pictures of the fossil and note any nearby features that you might use to re-locate the spot.
  • CONTACT A PALAEONTOLOGIST. Contact our palaeontologist Derek Larson at if you think you may have found something. If you have photos, they may be able to identify it immediately. Alternatively, they may need to visit the site and even make a full-scale excavation!

It is important to know that no one person owns these fossils, and that includes scientists and even museums. Museums hold these discoveries in trust for all citizens so that anyone can view them while the bones themselves are property of the Crown.

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