Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CT scan to probe mysteries of ancient sea beast's skull

  • Print
Matthew Duda holds the fossilized skull of a mosasaur, a.k.a. the 'T. rex of the Sea.'

SUBMITTED PHOTO Enlarge Image

Matthew Duda holds the fossilized skull of a mosasaur, a.k.a. the 'T. rex of the Sea.'

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.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2014 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google