The discovery of a new dinosaur species, the first unique to B.C. has been confirmed by a Victoria palaeontologist. (Photo Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum)

The discovery of a new dinosaur species, the first unique to B.C. has been confirmed by a Victoria palaeontologist. (Photo Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum)

VIDEO: Victoria museum unveils ‘Buster’ a new unique-to-B.C. dinosaur

Visitors free to see BC’s Mountain Dinosaur the ‘iron lizard from the Sustut River’

A Victoria palaeontologist’s more than 10 years of research have paid off with the confirmation of an entirely new species of dinosaur and the first dinosaur species unique to the province.

“Buster” was discovered in 1971 near Sustut River in northern B.C. when a geologist noticed a “mysterious claw” among the rocks near the rail line, north of Smithers. It was one of the first dinosaurs skeletons discovered in B.C., but it would be nearly five decades before it had a name.

READ ALSO: Victoria researcher links tail evolution of species separated by 300 million years

At the Royal BC Museum, curator of palaeontology Victoria Arbour’s research identified the dinosaur as an entirely new species, the ‘Ferrisaurus sustutensis,’ meaning “the iron lizard from the Sustut River.” Arbour prefers to call her discovery “Buster.”

The Ferrisaurus is a new species in a rare family of dinosaurs called ‘Leptoceratopsidae,’ described by the museum as “hornless, parrot-beaked plant-eaters closely related to the Triceratops.” At about 1.75 metres long and weighing around 330 lbs., the dinosaur was similar in size to a bighorn sheep.

Victoria Arbour, the Royal BC Museum’s curator of palaeontology conducted years of studying to uncover a news species of dinosaur: the Ferrisaurus sustutensis. (Photo Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum)

“It’s very exciting because it’s the first unique dinosaur, sort of the first new dinosaur species from British Columbia, which isn’t a place that’s super well-known for dinosaurs, even though we do actually have some fossils in the province,” Arbour tells Black Press Media.

“I’m particularly excited because I feel like this is hopefully going to open up a bit of a new era for dinosaur research in the province and hopefully lead to more discoveries in the future”

A statement from Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum says,“luck may have played a role in discovering this specimen, but it was only through thorough research that the world now recognizes this as a new species. This spectacular news is yet another example of how the Royal BC Museum advances knowledge of the natural world through hard work in the collections and the field.”

On Thursday, Arbour and co-author David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum published the discovery in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PeerJ – the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences.

READ ALSO: Buy your own dinosaur fossil for as low as $7

Buster’s bones and other fossils from the same region helped the palaeontologist learn about B.C. 67 million years ago, when dinosaurs walked the province’s rugged landscape. Two years ago, Arbour led an expedition to Sustut River, searching near the Sustut basin to find the site where Buster’s claw was discovered nearly 50 years earlier.

The expedition turned up new fossils including plants and part of a turtle, all of which have joined Buster as part of the Royal BC Museum’s collection.

Visitors can learn more about Buster and his story at a Pocket Gallery display called ‘BC’s Mountain Dinosaur,’ located in the museum’s main floor, accessible to all visitors free of charge until Feb. 26, 2020.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands protested in Victoria following the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. is not exempt: New report documents 150 years of racism and the fight against it

Booklet marks province’s 150th anniversary with call for transparency, change

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

Sgt. Sandrine Perry in the Oak Bay Police Department interview room that has been softened with household features to better accommodate survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay police interview room gets a makeover

Room made less daunting for victims of trauma

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read