Discovering Manitoba

Meet Bruce the Huge Mosasaur

Bruce is the largest Monasaur found in Canada.

Hi, my name is Bruce. I actually come from a prehistoric period often referred to as the Late Cretaceous Period. I lived in a sea called The Western Interior Seaway. It covered most of Manitoba, Central Canada and the United States, stretching from the Arctic down to the Gulf of Mexico.

I don’t want to boast, but the rest of my mosasaur family and me were at the very top of the food chain back then. We ate anything that swam or fell into the sea. We were so tough that huge fish and sharks would not bother us much; in fact, they might become our next lunch!

I am actually a marine reptile, which means that even though I lived in the sea I used to breathe air. I could hold my breath under very deep water for ages and ages, waiting to pounce on my next victim. With two sets of teeth both in my mouth and my throat plus my flexible jaws, nothing would escape me.

Because you might not know, my remains are the second largest of any mosasaur ever found in North America. True, there has been one slightly bigger, but it was really less fit than me because it had an easier life down south.

I am 43 feet long (13 metres). My fossil remains were found by a bunch of bentonite miners near the town of Morden, in southern Manitoba in 1971. They managed to get a small group of teachers from town, who then brought in some paleontology scientists from the city to excavate my fossils. It took them two summers long to do it!

Now, I might just mention that the pesky dinosaur T. Rex seems to get all the public attention and the media limelight? Well, I should point out to you that the average T Rex is just 35 feet long, so hey! Move over Rexy buddy! Or would you care to join us for a swim?

The Town of Morden has honoured me by creating a whole museum around me, which is now called the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre. There you can see me and all my other fossil buddies every day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

For those of you who are adventurous and keen on fossil hunting, the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre also provides paleo tours and fossil dig programs for the general public along the Manitoba Escarpment, partially set between Morden and the small town of Miami, Manitoba.

It is very likely that many more of my family and my other fossil buddies are just out there in the hillside waiting to be discovered in the ground; in fact, two big cousins of mine plus hundreds of others were found during mid-August 2008. So, come try your luck, you may have the thrill of a lifetime!

I know that I may sound a bit of a bighead, but just remember that together, my buddies and me made the Cretaceous Seas the most dangerous place ever! But even so, please don’t be scared – come see us at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden. And just remember that we don’t bite any more!

For more information on Bruce and his new friends, visit www.discoverfossils.com, or call 204 822 3406.

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