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Private Members Bill to Adopt the Elasmosaur as BC’s Provincial Fossil

Ronna-Rae Leonard, the provincial MLA for Courtenay-Comox, has introduced a private members bill to adopt the elasmosaur as BC’s provincial fossil. The bill would add a section to the existing Provincial Symbols and Honours Act to recognize the fossil, known scientifically as the Elasmosauridae, as a symbol of the Province of BC if passed.

The first elasmosaur fossil was found in November 1988 by Mike Trask and his daughter Heather, who were looking for fossils along the Puntledge River. Its discovery marked the first fossil of its kind found west of the Canadian Rockies. The elasmosaur is a large marine reptile dating back to the Cretaceous period; approximately 80 million years ago. Since this initial find, another elasmosaur was found in Comox Valley by Pat Trask in 2020. Both elasmosaurs are on display at the Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre.

Feb 15, 2023 media release from the New Democrat BC Government Caucus. Hyperlinks added within this post.

Please view the entire media release here.

Image/artwork courtesy of