Friday, April 11, 2008

I'd Like a Dinosaur

When I was 10 I briefly thought of becoming a geologist. Or an archaeologist (the Leaky's work in Africa was very well publicized at the time). Or a ballerina. OK, not really the ballerina. The desire to be a geologist didn't last long but I have always been interested in rocks, gems, and everything to do with fossils. I have even collected a few text books on the subject when research was done with books and not the internet.

The Wookie's father is a retired geology professor, though he's not really retired. He's still traveling round the world, doing tests, and helping some foreign governments figure out stuff about the earth. It's quite interesting work, really, and I find it fascinating. The other night, I told the Wookie that he should ask his father to bring me back a dinosaur from his latest round of travels. Actually, last year, the Wookie gave me the coolest birthday gift I have ever received. A megalodon tooth!!! That was a big fish. I have a few other fossils in my collection of stuff, so I'd really like a dinosaur. Probably not going to happen, but a girl can dream, eh?

I envy Shawna, as she lives near the dinosaur capital of Canada. Those monstrous creatures we have come to know as T. Rex and Albertasaurus used to traipse around her neighbourhood. Very cool. In Nova Scotia we have, and continue to find, mastodon teeth and the occasional mastodon skeleton. Because we have the highest tides in the world, we have a unique and eroding coastline that is continuously giving us back evidence of other creatures that inhabited this earth, including the footprints of the earliest known amphibians. I have stood on those prints, imagining the real life size of the animal that made them (about 6 feet long). Later this month, a new interpretive centre will be opening up to commemorate the Joggins Fossils Cliffs, which have been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is an island south of the province called Sable Island, known as the graveyard of the Atlantic. It is literally a spit of sand about 8 miles long and was created by the deposits of grit left by glaciers moving through the area. It is only inhabited by a few researchers and scientists, about 300 wild horses (called Sable Island Horses), colonies of breeding sea birds and birthing seals. The sand is composed of many minerals including garnet. When I found out about that I did a little research looking for garnet deposits in the rest of Nova Scotia. We apparently do have a lot of it though it's of an industrial quality rather than gem quality (think sandpaper). I have even heard about a beach in this province with purple sand and seen a sample of it. It looks like grape Kool aid crystals.

I have a lot more exploring to do this summer while training for the MS Bike Tour and I promise to post photos. Especially if I find a dinosaur!

S.

2 comments:

BRAINCHEESE said...

Could I order you one from a JC Penny catalog? I'd even pay the postage to ship the dinosaur to Canada! I've been known to send stranger things via US Mail...LOL

Linda D. in Seattle

Shauna said...

Ooooo....JC Penny dinosaurs. Cool.

Sadly, I don't have room for a dinosaur, Linda. It's kind of like me asking for a pony every year for Christmas. But I do appreciate the thought.

And I believe what you say. Really. I do.

S.