SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

May 27, 2015 14:03 ET

Media Advisory: 60 million year old "school" of fish uncovered in Calgary

Evanston basement excavation leads to important discovery

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - May 27, 2015) - An assemblage of fossilized fish was recently found during the excavation of a basement in a new development in northwest Calgary. The discovery was made by Edgar Nernberg who works for a local excavation company in Calgary. Darla Zelenitsky, a paleontologist and assistant professor at the University of Calgary, assessed the fossils as a very important find for the Calgary area. Five fish were found in a block of sandstone in the Paskapoo Formation, a roughly 60 million-year-old rock formation that underlies Calgary and much of the surrounding area. The fossil discovery is from a period of time shortly after an asteroid impact is believed to have caused a major mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and many other species. Plants and animals were recovering from the extinction and diversifying at the time. Because sites with complete fossils are relatively rare from this time period in Alberta, any such discoveries are significant as they shed light on the nature and diversity of animals that existed then. These fossil fish are important because they are very primitive representatives of a large group of bony fish known today.

WHAT:Fossilized fish discovery in a northwest Calgary basement
WHEN:Thursday, May 28th, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (Weather pending)
WHERE:Intersection of Evansglen Lane and Evansglen Drive in the community of Evanston, Calgary
 (See attached map)
WHO:Darla Zelenitsky, paleontologist and assistant professor of geoscience, University of Calgary
 Edgar Nernberg, Discoverer of fossil with Keystone Excavating

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

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