On August 16, 1991, an Eastend high school teacher named Robert Gebhardt joined palaeontologists on a prospecting expedition along the Frenchman River Valley to learn how fossils are found and identified in the field. Within half a day, he discovered the base of a heavily worn tooth and a vertebra from the tail of a 65-million-year old T.rex skeleton—later named Scotty. Scotty was the first T.rex discovered in the province and was fully excavated in the few years after its discovery.
Saskatchewan’s fossil record shows that the province was home to both carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs, including meat-eaters like Tyrannosaurus rex, horned dinosaurs like Triceratops, and duck-billed dinosaurs. To showcase Scotty and all of the other incredible finds in the surrounding area, the a T.rex Discovery Centre was built into the hills of the Frenchman River Valley near the small town of Eastend.
Open from 10-6 daily, all summer long, the Discovery Centre is something you’ll have to see to believe. A full-size cast of Scotty the T. rex will transport you back in time, and new this year, you can explore Scotty’s dig site through a virtual reality tour.
Admission is by donation and with plenty of exhibits, guided tours and hands on activities, the T.rex Discovery Centre is a destination the whole family will enjoy.
I recently paid a visit to the Centre for a fun and interactive event called the Bone and Pick(nic), where a group of us hiked through the hills to a dig site where we searched for fossils with a local palaeontologist. I had high hopes that I was going to find Scotty 2.0, but apparently I’ll have to go back soon and try my luck again.
For more events and programs at the Discovery Centre this summer, visit http://www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/trex.