Go back in time at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre
July 30, 2021
80 million years ago, Manitoba was a little different than it is today. As you can imagine, it was somewhat of an eat-or-get-eaten type of situation. We’re talking ferocious dinosaurs, dreadful predators of the deep and massive woolly mammoths. It was a harsh environment, covered by a giant saltwater seaway where danger lurked both on land and beneath the water’s surface. Today, our prehistoric past can be found in traces of creatures long gone. The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre is one of the best spots in Manitoba to see fossils up close, boasting the largest collection of marine fossils in Canada and the opportunity to go on a real-life fossil dig. It's also home to the largest publicly displayed mosasaur in the world, affectionately known as Bruce.
If you've got any dinosaur lovers in your house, then head to Morden where the museum is located on the lower level of the Access Event Centre. Here you can explore the displays that include detailed exhibits and dioramas that include a shark vertabra, a squid fossil and so much more. For an in depth look at the museum and the research they conduct, book a fully guided tour or an indoor fossil tour. If you're feeling really adventurous, you can also opt for an outdoor dig where you might just unearth a fossil yourself. (Be sure to check the website for tour availabilities.)
Bruce was discovered in 1974 north of Thornhill within the Pembina Member of the Pierre Shale Formation. It took approximately two field seasons to excavate the skeleton. The skeleton was reasonably complete with 65-70% of the original bones. Bruce has also won a Guinness World Record and though he is a replica, his original fossils are on display next to him. On your drive into Morden, be sure to stop and take a photo with Bruce, the road side attraction.
Manitoba was once known as the Western Interior Seaway and split North America in two. It spanned from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and was home to numerous marine reptiles. Bruce lived during the late Cretaceous period, approximately 80 million years ago and belongs to a group of Mosasaurs called the Tylosaurs. Largest of the Mosasaurs, Bruce is the largest in the world for this time period, at more than 13 meters in length or approximately 43 feet long from snout to tail. Mosasaurs were fierce predators who sat at the top of food chain, eating everything from plesiosaurs to ammonites (shelled organisms). Palaeontologists think the Mosasaurs lineage was branched off from a lizard group know today as the Monitor Lizards.
Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Weekends and Statutory Holidays Noon - 5:00 pm
Students $5.25 (5 - 18 y/o and University/College Students)
Family $18.25 (2 adults, any number of children)
Annual Family Admission $95
Seniors & Active Duty (with ID) receive a 10% Discount