Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/5/2014 (783 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It might involve a CT scan, but the object is certainly no cat.
Instead, it's the "T. rex of the Sea."
On May 25, the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre will be working in conjunction with the Boundary Trails Health Centre in Morden to conduct a CT scan of mosasaur skull.
The scan will take place at 5:05 p.m.
Although the CFDC has several fossils -- including "Bruce," a 43-foot mosasaur, the largest in Canada -- the centre has never had one of the remains undergo computer tomography imaging.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to identify a brain cavity, begin to determine brain size, things like that," said Matthew Duda, the centre's interim curator.
The mosasaur ruled the Western Interior Seaway between 80 million and 90 million years ago, when most of North America, including Manitoba, was under water. Mosasaurs were large marine reptiles that had flippers instead of terrestrial limbs. "Essentially, it's like a crocodile with flippers," Duda said.
CFDC executive director Peter Cantelon noted no mosasaur skull in Canada has ever been scanned before.
"We have partnered with the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta on this," Cantelon added. "One of their paleontologists, Francois Therrien, has done extensive CT scanning and graciously provided the settings for the hospital crew. As you can imagine, they can crank the CT scanner to maximum, given that we are dealing with a fossil and not a living creature.
"Once the information from the scan is made available to us our intent is to use it for research as well as add it to our public exhibits for people to see the makeup of the inside of a fossilized skull."
The CFDC has several fossils on display, including birds, sharks, squids and turtles that Duda said were "the size of a Volkswagen Beetle."
The most recent discovery was an 18-foot fish called a Xiphactinus.