CBC Digital Archives

Digging up dinosaurs in Nova Scotia

American scientists Paul Olsen and Neil Shubin have unearthed the largest fossil find in North America. Sponsored by the National Geographic Society, Olsen and Shubin have recovered fossilized dinosaur skulls, teeth and bones and more along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy's Minas Basin. CBC News reports on this historic dig in this television clip.
• Columbia University geologist Paul Olsen had spent six years searching the Bay of Fundy region for the bones without finding any. "We had our nose to these things and didn't see the fossils," Olsen told the Globe and Mail. "I walked over the area for six years without seeing them." (Jan. 30, 1986)

• "Bones were sticking out all over the place. They were everywhere." Neil Shubin, Harvard University biologist, NEWS, National Geographic Society, Jan. 29, 1986.
• In total, Olsen and Shubin collected 100,000 pieces of fossilized bone preserved in sandstone. The pencil-sized bones belonged to dinosaurs, lizards, sharks and fishes dating back to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary period, about 200 million years ago.

• Three tonnes of rock were transported to Harvard and Columbia universities with most of the bones to be returned to the province.
• Olsen and Shubin said that the find was significant in helping to determine the eventual cause of the Triassic-Jurassic era.
• In 1990, the Parrsboro fossil site was designated a special protected place and it is illegal to dig and collect at the site. 
Medium: Television
Program: 1st Edition
Broadcast Date: Jan. 29, 1986
Guest(s): Bob Grantham
Reporter: Claude Vickery
Duration: 1:14

Last updated: March 16, 2012

Page consulted on January 29, 2014

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