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Tag: ammonites

Symposium workshop: “Sutures, Septas and Siphuncles:  Identifying Ammonites with Ease”

As the 14th BC Paleontological Symposium approaches, our planned activities are being better defined, as this workshop on identifying ammonites in BC shows:

If you want to know your Bostrychoceras from your Glyptoxoceras, this workshop’s for you! Ammonites are the most abundant fossil cephalopods on the planet. With over 1,500 recorded genera and 10,000 species, identification can be daunting. In this 2-hour, hand-on workshop, BCPA Chair Dan Bowen will share tips and tricks for ammonite identification including basic terminology, morphology and key diagnostic characteristics as they relate to the most common ammonites found in BC. Test your new-found skills on workshop specimens, or bring your own specimens for practice.

VanPS presentation: “Fossils from Harrison Lake”

On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 7 PM PST, Vancouver Paleontological Society chair Perry Poon will present, “Fossils from Harrison Lake.”

The West Side of Harrison Lake is a well known popular fossil collecting site for the VanPS. Numerous specimens of small ammonites (Cadoceras sp.), large belemnites, and clams (bivalves – Buchia sp.) have been found in these Jurassic and Cretaceous fossil localities. Over several years these fossil sites had drastic changes including road construction, mineral claim, clear cuts, and forest fires. Perry Poon has visited these fossil sites over several years and has documented the changing faces of the West Side of Harrison Lake fossil sites.

VicPS members may attend the presentation by Zoom. Zoom meeting details have been emailed to all paid members of VicPS.

This meeting is also the VanPS Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the VanPS members elect a person for the position of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Designer, and Director(s). Be prepared to wait until the AGM concludes before Perry’s presentation begins.

January 23 field trip

Change of plan. The roads in the woods are apparently quite wet, so in the interest of safety and actually reaching our destination, we’re moving to plan B. Boomerang Lake will wait for us.

Annual membership renewal for 2022 is this month; dues must be paid up to attend fieldtrips. Please see the membership page for methods of payment.

Field Trip – Mt. Tzouhalem

When: Sunday, January 23, 2022

Travel: 9 am, meet at Helmcken Park & Ride. Arrive at Java World in Duncan by 10 am to meet participants from the Duncan area, then proceed to the mountain. Return to Park & Ride between 3 – 4 pm. Field trip and return times are approximate, subject to Malahat access and return traffic, which can be unpredictable.

Exposure: Mount Tzouhalem is a high point of land that overlooks Cowichan Bay. Much of the mountain is forested, and some of it is protected by an ecological reserve, but the northern side of the mountain, originally intended as a golf course, is slowly being developed into single family homes. High on the mountain, in undeveloped areas, fossils are found in the rock and in concretions; hiking steep inclines is required. Where subdivision construction is in progress, lower down, fossils can be collected on newly excavated flat lots and in debris piles beside newly paved streets with ample parking. The matrix is black shale, ranging from very hard to extremely friable. Preservation of shell is typically black in colour. Fossils at this locality are characteristic of the older part of the Haslam, including the typical ammonites (Haeuriceras, Eupachydiscus, and the heteromorphs Eubostrychoceras and Glyptoxoceras). A wide variety of clams and snails can also be found. Along with the more standard fare, the exposures here have yielded some rarities, such as the crinoids Uintacrinus and the spiny ammonite Urakawites, which are unknown from most other Haslam localities. In 2021 an impression of Pseudoxybeleceras was collected, which is pending donation to the Royal BC Museum. Plant material is common in some areas, mainly Metasequoia (dawn redwood); a well-preserved flowering cone collected at the site by a VicPS member, also donated to the RBCM.

Equipment: A good hammer, chisel, and protective eyewear are recommended, as is a glue/water solution to stabilize fragile pieces and newsprint or paper towel for wrapping. Masking tape is useful to secure a wrapped specimen and to accept a description of where and when it was found. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for all weather (rain, wind) and bring drinking water and snacks.

RSVP: Jerri Wilkins, Field Trip Lead, via the VicPS Facebook page or via email at

November 25th 2018 field trip

When: Sunday, November 25th, 2018, 9:00 am

Directions: Meet at the Helmcken Road Park and Ride at 9:00 am to arrange carpooling.

This field trip is suitable for collectors of all ages and activity levels. Fossils are found in the rock and concretions at the site, so a good hammer or sledge, chisel, and protective eyewear are required.

Clothing: Footwear should be appropriate for rocky and sometimes muddy conditions.  Be aware that this site has undergone significant terraforming, so you should expect to be walking on rocks and boulders that can be slippery and treacherous. Dress in layers to adapt to sun, clouds or wind. Rain gear packed and ready is always smart. As we post this notice, the long range forecast for the site is 20% POP and light winds. Bring water and snacks.

Contact: RSVP Jerri Wilkins via the VicPS Facebook page or via email at for more specific details about our planned fossil hunting location.