Horseshoe Canyon Formation

The Horseshoe Canyon Formation is a stratigraphic unit of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in southwestern Alberta.[3][4] It takes its name from Horseshoe Canyon, an area of badlands near Drumheller.

The Horseshoe Canyon Formation is part of the Edmonton Group and is up to 230 metres (750 ft) thick. It is of Late Cretaceous age, Campanian to early Maastrichtian stage (Edmontonian Land-Mammal Age), and is composed of mudstone, sandstone, carbonaceous shales, and coal seams. A variety of depositional environments are represented in the succession, including floodplains, estuarine channels, and coal swamps, which have yielded a diversity of fossil material. Tidally-influenced estuarine point bar deposits are easily recognizable as Inclined Heterolithic Stratification (IHS). Brackish-water trace fossil assemblages occur within these bar deposits and demonstrate periodic incursion of marine waters into the estuaries.

The Horseshoe Canyon Formation crops out extensively in the area around Drumheller, as well as farther north along the Red Deer River near Trochu and along the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton.[3] It is overlain by the Battle, Whitemud, and Scollard formations.[4] The Drumheller Coal Zone, located in the lower part of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, was mined for sub-bituminous coal in the Drumheller area from 1911 to 1979, and the Atlas Coal Mine in Drumheller has been preserved as a National Historic Site.[5] In more recent times, the Horseshoe Canyon Formation has become a major target for coalbed methane (CBM) production.

Bearpaw-Horseshoe Canyon
Contact (red arrow) between the underlying marine shales of the Bearpaw Formation and the coastal Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Coal beds (black bands) are common in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation and were formed in coastal swamps.

Dinosaurs found in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation include Albertavenator, Albertosaurus, Anchiceratops, Anodontosaurus, Arrhinoceratops, Atrociraptor, Epichirostenotes, Edmontonia, Edmontosaurus, Hypacrosaurus, Ornithomimus, Pachyrhinosaurus, Parksosaurus, Saurolophus, and Struthiomimus. Other finds have included mammals such as Didelphodon coyi, non-dinosaur reptiles, amphibians, fish, marine and terrestrial invertebrates and plant fossils. Reptiles such as turtles and crocodilians are rare in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, and this was thought to reflect the relatively cool climate which prevailed at the time. A study by Quinney et al. (2013) however, showed that the decline in turtle diversity, which was previously attributed to climate, coincided instead with changes in soil drainage conditions, and was limited by aridity, landscape instability, and migratory barriers.[6]

Horseshoe Canyon Formation
Stratigraphic range: Maastrichtian
~74–67 Ma
[1]
Horseshoe Canyon Alberta Nov 1988
Horseshoe Canyon Formation at Horsethief Canyon, near Drumheller. The dark bands are coal seams.
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofEdmonton Group
UnderliesWhitemud Formation
OverliesBearpaw Formation
Thickness227 m (745 ft)[2]
Lithology
PrimarySandstone
OtherShale, coal
Location
Coordinates51°25′24″N 112°53′18″W / 51.42333°N 112.88833°WCoordinates: 51°25′24″N 112°53′18″W / 51.42333°N 112.88833°W
Region Alberta
Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin
Country Canada
Type section
Named forHorseshoe Canyon
Named byE.J.W. Irish, 1970

Oil/gas production

The Drumheller Coal Zone has been a primary coalbed methane target for industry. In the area between Bashaw and Rockyford, the Coal Zone lies at relatively shallow depths (about 300 metres) and is about 70 to 120 metres thick. It contains 10 to 20 metres of cumulative coal, in up to 20 or more individual thin seams interbedded with sandstone and shale, which combine to make an attractive multi-completion CBM drilling target. In total, it is estimated there are 14 trillion cubic metres (500 tcf) of gas in place in all the coal in Alberta.

Biostratigraphy

The timeline below follows syntheses presented by Arbour et al. 2009, Cullen et al. 2013[7] Larson et al. 2010,[8] Williamson & Carr 2002, Claessens & Loewen 2015,[1] and Funston & Currie (2016).[9]

Dinosaurs

Ankylosaurs

Maniraptors

Marginocephalians

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Ornithomimids

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Ornithopods

Tyrannosaurs

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Other Animals

Mammals

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Other Reptiles

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Fish

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Fish reported from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Horseshoeichthys[27]

H. armaserratus

An ellimmichthyiform

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Claessens, L. & Mark A. Loewen, M.A. (2015). A redescription of Ornithomimus velour Marsh, 1890 (Dinosauria, Theropoda). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (advance online publication). doi:10.1080/02724634.2015.1034593
  2. ^ Lexicon of Canadian Geological Units. "Horseshoe Canyon Formation". Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  3. ^ a b Prior, G. J., Hathaway, B., Glombick, P.M., Pana, D.I., Banks, C.J., Hay, D.C., Schneider, C.L., Grobe, M., Elgr, R., and Weiss, J.A. (2013). "Bedrock Geology of Alberta. Alberta Geological Survey, Map 600". Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2013-08-13.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Mossop, G.D. and Shetsen, I., (compilers), Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (1994). "The Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, Chapter 24: Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary strata of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin". Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-08-01.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Mine History". Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  6. ^ Quinney, Annie; Therrien, François; Zelenitsky, Darla K.; Eberth, David A. (2013). "Palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstruction of the Upper Cretaceous (late Campanian–early Maastrichtian) Horseshoe Canyon Formation, Alberta, Canada". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 371: 26–44. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.12.009.
  7. ^ Cullen, T. M.; Ryan, M. J.; Schröder-Adams, C.; Currie, P. J.; Kobayashi, Y. (2013). "An Ornithomimid (Dinosauria) Bonebed from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, with Implications for the Behavior, Classification, and Stratigraphy of North American Ornithomimids". PLOS ONE. 8 (3): e58853. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058853. PMC 3595220. PMID 23554938.
  8. ^ Larson, D. W.; Brinkman, D. B.; Bell, P. R. (2010). "Faunal assemblages from the upper Horseshoe Canyon Formation, an early Maastrichtian cool-climate assemblage from Alberta, with special reference to the Albertosaurus sarcophagus bonebed This article is one of a series of papers published in this Special Issue on the theme Albertosaurus". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 47 (9): 1159–1181. doi:10.1139/e10-005.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Gregory F. Funston; Philip J. Currie (2016). "A new caenagnathid (Dinosauria: Oviraptorosauria) from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta, Canada, and a reevaluation of the relationships of Caenagnathidae". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Online edition: e1160910. doi:10.1080/02724634.2016.1160910.
  10. ^ a b c Penkalski, P. (2013). "A new ankylosaurid from the late Cretaceous Two Medicine Formation of Montana, USA". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. doi:10.4202/app.2012.0125.
  11. ^ a b c Arbour, Victoria (2010). "A Cretaceous armoury: Multiple ankylosaurid taxa in the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (Supplement 2): 55A. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.10411819.
  12. ^ Penkalski, P.; Blows, W. T. (2013). "Scolosaurus cutleri (Ornithischia: Ankylosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 50: 130110052638009. doi:10.1139/cjes-2012-0098.
  13. ^ Evans, D.C., Cullen, T.M., Larson, D.W., and Rego, A. "A new species of troodontid theropod (Dinosauria: Maniraptora) from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Maastrichtian) of Alberta, Canada." Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences Early Online: 813-826. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2017-0034
  14. ^ Robert M. Sullivan; Steven E. Jasinski; Mark P.A. Van Tomme (2011). "A new caenagnathid Ojoraptorsaurus boerei, n. gen., n. sp. (Dinosauria, Oviraptorosauria), from the Upper Ojo Alamo Formation (Naashoibito Member), San Juan Basin, New Mexico" (PDF). Fossil Record 3. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 53: 418–428.
  15. ^ "Table 23.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 495.
  16. ^ a b c "Abstract," Makovicky (2001); page 243.
  17. ^ Arbour, V. M.; Burns, M. E.; Sissons, R. L. (2009). "A redescription of the ankylosaurid dinosaur Dyoplosaurus acutosquameus Parks, 1924 (Ornithischia: Ankylosauria) and a revision of the genus". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29 (4): 1117–1135. doi:10.1671/039.029.0405.
  18. ^ Farke, A. A. "Cranial osteology and phylogenetic relationships of the chasmosaurine ceratopsid Torosaurus latus", pp. 235-257. In K. Carpenter (ed.). Horns and Beaks: Ceratopsian and Ornithopod Dinosaurs. Indiana Univ. Press (Bloomington), 2006.
  19. ^ a b "Table 20.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 441.
  20. ^ Mallon, J.C.; Bura, J.R.; Currie, P.J. (2019). "A Problematic Tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) Skeleton and Its Implications for Tyrannosaurid Diversity in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta". The Anatomical Record. doi:10.1002/ar.24199.
  21. ^ Torices, A.; Reichel, M.; Currie, P.J. (2014). "Multivariate analysis of isolated tyrannosaurid teeth from the Danek Bonebed, Horseshoe Canyon Formation, Alberta, Canada". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 51 (11): 1045–1051. doi:10.1139/cjes-2014-0072.
  22. ^ R. C. Fox and B. G. Naylor. 1986. A new species of Didelphodon Marsh (Marsupialia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada: paleobiology and phylogeny. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 172(3):357-380 [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/M. Carrano]
  23. ^ X.-C. Wu, D. B. Brinkman, and A. P. Russell. 1996. A new alligator from the Upper Cretaceous of Canada and the relationships of early eusuchians. Palaeontology 39(2):351-375 [P. Mannion/P. Mannion]
  24. ^ K. -Q. Gao and R. C. Fox. 1998. New choristoderes (Reptilia: Diapsida) from the Upper Cretaceous and Palaeocene, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, a phylogenetic relationships of Choristodera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 124:303-353 [R. Benson/R. Benson]
  25. ^ B. Brown. 1913. A new plesiosaur, Leurospondylus, from the Edmonton Cretaceous of Alberta. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 32(40):605-615 [M. Carrano/H. Street]
  26. ^ Jordan C. Mallon; Donald B. Brinkman (2018). "Basilemys morrinensis, a new species of nanhsiungchelyid turtle from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta, Canada". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Online edition: e1431922. doi:10.1080/02724634.2018.1431922.
  27. ^ Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 2010, 47(9): 1183-1196

Bibliography

  • Makovicky, P. J., 2001, A Montanoceratops cerorhynchus (Dinosauria: Ceratopsia) braincase from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 243–262.
  • Varricchio, D. J. 2001. Late Cretaceous oviraptorosaur (Theropoda) dinosaurs from Montana. pp. 42–57 in D. H. Tanke and K. Carpenter (eds.), Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. 861 pp. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
Albertavenator

Albertavenator is a genus of small troodontid theropod dinosaur, known from the early Maastrichtian in the Cretaceous period. It contains a single species, A. curriei, named after paleontologist Phil Currie, based on a partial left frontal found in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta during the 1990s. Albertavenator's discovery indicates that small dinosaur diversity may be underestimated at present due to the difficulty in identifying species from fragmentary remains.

Albertonykus

Albertonykus (meaning "Alberta claw") is a genus of alvarezsaurid dinosaur from the Maastrichtian-age (Upper Cretaceous) rocks of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta, Canada. It is known from forelimb and hindlimb remains from multiple individuals. All but two of the specimens come from a bonebed dominated by Albertosaurus. This bonebed is located at the top of Unit 4 of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, which dates to about 68.5 million years ago. Albertonykus is interpreted as having fed on wood-nesting termites because the forelimbs appear to be specialized for digging, but are too short for burrowing. Albertonykus is the earliest-known North American alvarezsaurid; isolated remains of alvarezsaurids are known from later rock units in Montana and Wyoming (USA).The type species is A. borealis, described by Nicholas Longrich and Philip Currie in a paper published in 2009 (which was available online as a preprint in 2008). The specific name (borealis) means "north".

Anchiceratops

Anchiceratops ( ANG-kee-SERR-ə-tops) is an extinct genus of chasmosaurine ceratopsid dinosaur that lived approximately 72 to 71 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period in what is now Alberta, Canada.

Anchiceratops was a medium-sized, heavily built, ground-dwelling, quadrupedal herbivore that could grow up to an estimated 5 m (16.4 ft) long. Its skull featured two long brow horns and a short horn on the nose. The skull frill was elongated and rectangular, its edges adorned by coarse triangular projections. About a dozen skulls of the genus have been found.

Anodontosaurus

Anodontosaurus is an extinct genus of ankylosaurid dinosaurs within the subfamily Ankylosaurinae. It is known from the entire span of the Late Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation (mid Late Campanian to "middle" Maastrichtian stage, about 72.8-67 Ma ago) of southern Alberta, Canada. It contains two species, A. lambei and A. inceptus.

Apatoraptor

Apatoraptor ("Apatè robber") is a genus of caenagnathid dinosaur which contains a single species, A. pennatus. The only known specimen was discovered in the Campanian-age Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta.

Atrociraptor

Atrociraptor (meaning "savage robber") is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian stage) of Alberta, Canada.

The type (and only) specimen of Atrociraptor, holotype RTMP 95.166.1, was discovered by Wayne Marshall in 1995, in layers of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation also containing an Albertosaurus bonebed, near Drumheller. This bonebed is located at the top of Unit 4 of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, which dates to about 68.5 million years ago. The only known specimen consists of parts of the upper and lower jaws—both premaxillae, a right maxilla, both dentaries—teeth and numerous small fragments. The skull appears to have been unusually short and tall. The teeth are relatively straight, but they emerge from the tooth sockets at an angle to the jaw line, resulting in a strongly raked row of teeth. A number of isolated teeth (previously referred to Saurornitholestes) have also been recovered from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation; they can be recognized by their unusually large serrations.

In 2004 Philip J. Currie and David Varricchio named and described the type species of Atrociraptor: Atrociraptor marshalli. The generic name is derived from the Latin atrox, "savage", and raptor, "seizer". The specific name honours Marshall.In 2010 Gregory S. Paul estimated its length at two metres, its weight at fifteen kilogrammes. Atrociraptor differs from Bambiraptor and other velociraptorines in its more isodont dentition—the teeth have different sizes but the same form—and short deep snout. A skull opening, the maxillary fenestra, is relatively large and positioned right above another opening, the promaxillary fenestra, a condition not known from other species.

Atrociraptor was by its describers assigned to the Velociraptorinae within a larger Dromaeosauridae. However, in 2009 Currie published a cladistic analysis showing Atrociraptor to be a member of the Saurornitholestinae.

Basilemys

Basilemys is an extinct genus of land turtles belonging to the family Nanhsiungchelyidae. Fossils have been found in various Campanian to Maastrichtian formations of North America.

Edmonton Group

The Edmonton Group is a Late Cretaceous (Campanian stage) to early Paleocene stratigraphic unit of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in the central Alberta plains. It was first described as the Edmonton Formation by Joseph Burr Tyrrell in 1887 based on outcrops along the North Saskatchewan River in and near the city of Edmonton. E.J.W. Irish later elevated the formation to group status and it was subdivided into four separate formations. In ascending order, they are the Horseshoe Canyon, Whitemud, Battle and Scollard Formations. The Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary occurs within the Scollard Formation, based on dinosaurian and microfloral evidence, as well as the presence of the terminal Cretaceous iridium anomaly.

Edmontonia

Edmontonia was an armoured dinosaur, part of the nodosaur family from the Late Cretaceous Period. It is named after the Edmonton Formation (now the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in Canada), the unit of rock it was found in.

Edmontosaurus regalis

Edmontosaurus regalis is a species of comb-crested hadrosaurid (duck-billed) dinosaur. Fossils of E. regalis have been found in rocks of western North America that date from the late Campanian stage of the Cretaceous Period 73 million years ago.

E. regalis was one of the largest hadrosaurids, measuring up to 12 metres (39 ft) long and weighing around 4.0 metric tons (4.4 short tons). It is classified as a genus of saurolophine (or hadrosaurine) hadrosaurid, a member of the group of hadrosaurids which lacked large, hollow crests, instead having smaller solid crests or fleshy combs. The distribution of E. regalis fossils suggests that it preferred coasts and coastal plains. It was a herbivore that could move on both two legs and four. Because it is known from several bone beds, E. regalis is thought to have lived in groups. The wealth of fossils has allowed researchers to study its paleobiology in detail, including its brain, how it may have fed, and its injuries and pathologies.

Epichirostenotes

Epichirostenotes is a genus of oviraptorosaurian dinosaur from the late Cretaceous. Epichirostenotes is known from an incomplete skeleton found in 1923 at the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, in strata dated to about 72 million years ago. It was first named by Robert M. Sullivan, Steven E. Jasinski and Mark P.A. van Tomme in 2011 and the type species is Epichirostenotes curriei. Its holotype, ROM 43250, had been assigned to Chirostenotes pergracilis by Hans-Dieter Sues in 1997.

Horseshoe Canyon (Alberta)

Horseshoe Canyon is a region of badlands surrounded by prairie in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is located about 17 km west of Drumheller, Alberta, along Highway 9.

The canyon gets its name from its horseshoe shape, defined by two coulees the flow into the Kneehill Creek, a tributary of the Red Deer River. The canyon's two arms are approximately 5 km long each, extending from Highway 9 to Kneehill Creek, at two former mining communities of Dunphy and Gatine. In turn, it gives the name to the Horseshoe Canyon Formation.

Maastrichtian

The Maastrichtian ( ) is, in the ICS geologic timescale, the latest age (uppermost stage) of the Late Cretaceous epoch or Upper Cretaceous series, the Cretaceous period or system, and of the Mesozoic era or erathem. It spanned the interval from 72.1 to 66 million years ago. The Maastrichtian was preceded by the Campanian and succeeded by the Danian (part of the Paleogene and Paleocene).At the end of this period, there was a mass extinction known as the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (formerly known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event). In this extinction event, many commonly recognized groups such as non-avian dinosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, as well as many other lesser-known groups, died out. The cause of the extinction is most commonly linked to an asteroid about 10 to 15 kilometres (6.2 to 9.3 mi) wide colliding with Earth at the end of the Cretaceous.

Montanoceratops

Montanoceratops is an extinct genus of small ceratopsian dinosaur that lived approximately 70 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period in what is now Montana and Alberta. Montanoceratops was a small sized, moderately-built, ground-dwelling, quadrupedal herbivore, that could grow up to an estimated 3 m (9.8 ft) long.

Pachyrhinosaurus

Pachyrhinosaurus (meaning in Greek "thick-nosed lizard", from Παχυ (pachy), thick; ρινό (rinó), nose; and σαυρος (sauros), lizard) is an extinct genus of centrosaurine ceratopsid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period of North America. The first examples were discovered by Charles M. Sternberg in Alberta, Canada, in 1946, and named in 1950. Over a dozen partial skulls and a large assortment of other fossils from various species have been found in Alberta and Alaska. A great number were not available for study until the 1980s, resulting in a relatively recent increase of interest in Pachyrhinosaurus.

Three species have been identified. P. lakustai, from the Wapiti Formation, the bonebed horizon of which is roughly equivalent age to the upper Bearpaw and lower Horseshoe Canyon Formations, is known to have existed from about 73.5-72.5 million years ago. P. canadensis is younger, known from the lower Horseshoe Canyon Formation, about 71.5-71 Ma ago and the St. Mary River Formation. Fossils of the youngest species, P. perotorum, have been recovered from the Prince Creek Formation of Alaska, and date to 70-69 million years ago. The presence of three known species makes this genus the most speciose among the centrosaurines.

Parksosaurus

Parksosaurus (meaning "William Parks's lizard") is a genus of hypsilophodont ornithopod dinosaur from the early Maastrichtian-age Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta, Canada. It is based on most of a partially articulated skeleton and partial skull, showing it to have been a small, bipedal, herbivorous dinosaur. It is one of the few described non-hadrosaurid ornithopods from the end of the Cretaceous in North America, existing around 70 million years ago.

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a Canadian tourist attraction and a centre of palaeontological research known for its collection of more than 130,000 fossils.Located 6 km (4 mi) northwest from Drumheller, Alberta and 135 km (84 mi) northeast from Calgary, the museum is situated in the middle of the fossil-bearing strata of the Late Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation and holds numerous specimens from the Alberta badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Devil's Coulee Dinosaur Egg Site.The Royal Tyrrell Museum is operated by Alberta's Ministry of Culture.

Sphaerotholus

Sphaerotholus is a genus of pachycephalosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of the western United States and Canada. To date, three species have been described: the type species, S. goodwini, from the Den-na-zin Member of the Kirtland Formation (Late Campanian) of San Juan County, New Mexico, USA; S. buchholtzae, from the Hell Creek Formation (Late Maastrichtian) of western Carter County, Montana, USA; and S. edmontonense, from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta, Canada.

Stangerochampsa

Stangerochampsa is an extinct genus of globidontan alligatoroid, possibly an alligatorine or a stem-caiman, from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta. It is based on RTMP.86.61.1, a skull, partial lower jaws, and partial postcranial skeleton discovered in the late Campanian–early Maastrichtian-age Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Stangerochampsa was described in 1996 by Wu and colleagues. The type species is S. mccabei. The generic name honors the Stanger family, the owners of the ranch where the specimen was found, and the species name honors James Ross McCabe, who discovered, collected, and prepared it. Stangerochampsa is described as "small to medium–sized"; the type skull is 20.03 centimetres (7.89 in) long from the tip of the snout to the occipital condyle, and is 13.0 centimetres (5.1 in) wide at its greatest, while the thigh bone is 14.2 centimetres (5.6 in) long. It had heterodont dentition, with large crushing teeth at the rear of the jaws.

Hydrocarbon history
Depositional regions
Central Alberta

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