Dinosaur egg potential excites Digby student
Paleontology curator doubts rock is fossilized egg
Jusslie Barr, a student at Digby Elementary School, is convinced a suspiciously egg-like rock her dad found 25 years ago is actually Nova Scotia's first fossilized dinosaur egg.
As her project in a school fair last week, the 11-year-old girl brought in a rock her father Les Barr found when he was around the same age. After doing some research, both are convinced it's a Sauropod egg.
"I found this rock in my grandmother's ditch in her front yard," said Les Barr.
"To me it's got that certain egg shape. Nobody believed me. My mom didn't want it in her car so I had to sneak it home."
The object weighs about 7.5 kilograms and is 23 centimetres long and 18 centimetres wide.
Les Barr said he tried to crack it open with a chisel and hammer as a kid.
"I wanted to prove to these grown-ups that there was a baby dinosaur in there, of course not alive," he said.
He said he even sat on the object to try to hatch it.
Help from Google
Years later, Barr introduced the discovery to his own children.
"We looked up pictures and stuff on Google, because we have that now," said Jusslie. "I compared everything and I was pretty convinced."
The student says she spent "hours" online until she found a site showing similar sized dinosaur eggs.
"There are no other confirmed dinosaur eggs found in Nova Scotia. But I'm pretty confident that this might be the first one," Jusslie said.
Melissa Grey, curator of paleontology at the Joggins Fossil Centre, has not seen the object but has looked at photos sent to her by the family.
"It's always a challenge to identify fossils from an image alone, but my initial impression is that this is not a fossil. Sometimes rocks can trick us because they can take on shapes that look like something biological," she wrote to CBC's Mainstreet.
"Sauropod eggs tend to be very round (like a ball) and the texture looks quite different. The specimen was also found in a place where there are very few dinosaur-aged rocks."
Grey said southwest Nova Scotia contains rocks that are much older than when the dinosaurs were roaming the earth.
"This is not a definitive identification and may be worth another opinion, but that's mine for what it's worth," she said.
Les said the family is hoping to get the mysterious item examined by professionals to confirm whether it's a dinosaur egg.
"I'll be pretty upset about it. Our family got really clung to it," said Jusslie at the prospect of it being a rock. "My imagination was running wild."
On the other hand, she said, "I also don't want it to be taken away from us."