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.’s first dinosaur species discovered in Sustut River

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 lbs., 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)

“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,” says a statement from Prof. Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum. “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 Sustet 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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

City hall, RCMP getting complaints about lack of physical distancing

So far, there’s no public health order to enforce the safety measure

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Uplands Elementary students get chance to wave at teachers

Students haven’t seen teachers in nearly 3 weeks

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read