Saskatchewan River: Dry Bones
Dinosaurs abound in Alberta’s badlands
Picture a landscape that is sparsely vegetated, parched like a desert,
totally unsuited to any kind of farming or horticulture, and containing exposed
bands of 75 million-year-old mudstone and sandstone. Welcome to the badlands.
In prehistoric times, ancient streams deposited sediment all over the great plains region
of the continent to form these fossil-rich layers. Then gullies were worn down, being carved
and sculpted by the erosion of powerful winds and running water following the last glacial
retreat. Hoodoos are the result.
The fossils in Dinosaur Provincial Park in the badlands of southern Alberta are considered
to be so precious that the site has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
It is located along the Red Deer River, a major tributary of the South Saskatchewan River,
in a region of Alberta called the badlands.
Fossilized remains of dinosaurs, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and prehistoric mammals are
being mined for information by the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in nearby Drumheller.
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