Dinosaur bonebed amber: paleoecological and paleoenvironmental reconstructions

Amber, or fossilized tree resin, is a natural trap that provides a valuable source of palaeontological data on insects in ancient ecosystems. The chemistry and composition of the amber itself can also be used to explore which trees produced each amber deposit, and what conditions these trees lived under. Western Canada contains multiple amber deposits near the end of the Cretaceous period (66 million years ago), and small quantities of amber have been found in the sediments of dinosaur bonebeds. The proposed project will sample amber from two dinosaur bonebeds in Saskatchewan (the quarry of “Scotty” the T. rex, near Eastend), and Alberta (the Pipestone Creek Pachyrhinosaurus Bonebed near Grande Prairie). This amber will be used to learn about conditions in the surrounding terrestrial habitats, and will help fill in a gap in the fossil record of insects that occurs near the end of the Cretaceous.

Pierre Cockx
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ryan McKellar
Partner University: