Thompson Valley Rock Club member Gladys Dickinson

McAbee fossils donated to museum

John Leahy donates a permanent collection of fossils collected from the now closed McAbee Fossil Beds to the Ashcroft Museum.

With the closure of the McAbee Fossils beds to the public in 2012, Ashcroft Museum was fortunate last Friday to receive the gracious donation of 40 outstanding fossils from the site by John Leahy, a Kamloops expert on fossils.

Leahy worked closely with David Langevin, who staked the site in 1991 to protect the fossils and to allow individuals to collect fossils from the site. The fossil finds are so significant that B.C. Government has recently given it a Heritage Site Designation.

The rocks and types of fossils found at McAbee Fossil Beds tell us something about the lake that occurred there. The McAbee Fossil Beds are made up of shallow lake sediments which were laid down approximately 51 million years ago (Eocene age). Over 80 plant varieties have been found, including broadleaves, conifers, Sassafras, katsura and Ginkgo. Insect species including flies, wasps, leafhoppers, the fish Eohiodon, cones flowers and even a few feathers were also discovered.

The previous loaned fossil display was so popular with its visitors that the Ashcroft Museum is thrilled to have received an even more impressive permanent display to share with residents and visitors to Ashcroft alike for years to come.

Take time to visit the exhibit and bring your guests as there is much to see and learn. The Ashcroft Museum is also grateful to the Thompson Nicola Paleontology donation of the display case.

The Ashcroft Museum is currently open Monday to Friday from 9-5, closed Saturday and Sunday and statutory holidays.

Kathy Paulos

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