I am about to blow your mind: Manitoba was once a dinosaur hangout. Yes, some hundreds of thousands of years ago, dinosaurs roamed these parts doing… well, whatever dinosaurs do. Read this list and impress your friends with your newly-aquired knowledge
Manitoba was, at one point, covered entirely by ocean. During this time, giant marine reptiles called Mosasaurs roamed what is now Manitoba. Mosasaurs have been nicknamed “The T-rex of the sea.” The largest Mosasaur skeleton to ever be discovered was found in a Manitoban farmer’s field in 1974. It is 13.1 meters (Approximately 43 feet) long!
2. Crow sharks
Sharks have existed on this planet longer than trees. Yes, you heard that right, LONGER THAN TREES. The crow shark is a species of shark that lived in and around Winnipeg about 80-90 million years ago. Like Mosasaurs, the largest and most complete skeleton of this creature was found in rural Manitoba in the 1970s. It was so well-preserved that there was even tissue from its gills left!
Plesiosaurs were long-necked predatory marine reptiles that lived about 250 million years ago, about 100 million years earlier than the Mosasaurs. They ranged between 8-46 feet long, and at one point also lurked in Manitoba when it was covered in prehistoric ocean. Jeez, there was a lot of terrifying sea creatures in our past, wasn’t there?
4. 65 million year old bits of tree
Though Manitoba was covered in ocean for a long time, archaeologists have also found plant fossils – mainly trees from the cretaceous period. Many speculate that they were logs that drifted to and eventually sunk in what is now Manitoba. These logs are often the origin of amber, or fossilized tree sap which sometimes contains perfectly preserved insects from millions of years ago.
*Cue Jurassic Park theme*
5. Prehistoric corals
Many of the older buildings in Winnipeg are made of a sedimentary rock called Tyndall stone. Tyndall stone is often peppered with fossils, usually of things like prehistoric corals and gastropods (snails and their slimy relatives). Next time you’re around buildings like the Leg’, take a look at the stone. Fossils can look just like random patterns or blemishes in the stone, but really they mark the existence of little creatures that lived millions of years ago.