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Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2024 3pm

Humane Society to lock up donations in Caged for Kennels

    Residents of the Drumheller Valley are being locked up.
    The Drumheller and District Humane Society is having their Caged for Kennels fundraiser, one of the biggest events for homeless animals in the valley. 
    The premise is that participants are comfortably caged in a large dog run and only released when donations reach their goal.
    This year there is a twist. Female and male participants will be caged separately in a race to see who can reach the goal of $4000 first. The victors will be released, leaving the others to wait to see freedom.
    There will also be a BBQ and other entertainment.
    Festivities take place on Thursday September 29 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the new home of the Humane Society, 1121D Railway Ave South near the veterinarian clinic.
    Donations can be made at the event, and those over $20 will receive a tax receipt.
    The funds will go to operating the new adoption centre, caring and finding homes for the homeless animals in the community.


Driver of alleged stolen vehicle bolts from rollover scene

    The hoodoos near East Coulee on Highway 10 sprouted a new feature on Friday, September 23.
    Early in the afternoon Drumheller RCMP were notified that a vehicle heading westbound on Highway 10 rolled over.
    Moments later RCMP received a call regarding a stolen vehicle out of East Coulee that matched the description of the wreck.
    No passengers were in the vehicle and the driver, a 20 year old male resident of the valley, was uninjured and fled the scene of the accident before the RCMP arrived.
    With the assistance of the public, officers were able to quickly apprehend the driver who was still nearby.
    The cause of the crash is not yet certain, but Corporal Kevin Charles of the Drumheller RCMP reported that “alcohol was not a factor, and we believe speed may have been a factor in the crash.”
    The driver faces several charges under the criminal code and provincial statute. The investigation is ongoing.

New fossil evidence solves evolutionary mystery in extinct giant marine predator

    The teeth and stomach contents of two exceptionally well-preserved fossils from Alberta answer questions about the evolutionary success of mosasaurs, an extinct group of giant, flipper-equipped (or flipper-bearing) marine lizards that dominated the waters 90 – 65 million years ago.
    A team of researchers, led by Dr. Takuya Konishi and Dr. Donald Brinkman of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology studied two of the world’s best-preserved 74-million-year-old Prognathodon specimens found in Southern Alberta.
    They were able to determine what the entire animal looked like for the first time, and what the little known predator ate. The preserved gut contents revealed the remains of a large fish, a sea turtle with a shell 60 cm in diameter, and a possible ammonite jaw.
    “Macroscopically, the teeth of Prognathodon are blunt-ended and robust, a shape suited for crunching. Microscopically, most of the teeth were equipped with cutting edges, useful for slicing meat. It’s this combination that enabled these predators to handle both hard and soft prey; they could eat nearly anything that swam in the ocean,” Konishi explains.
    For over a century, scientists did not have enough fossil evidence to confirm what Prognathodon, a particularly large-headed mosasaur, looked like in life. “Between the two specimens, we now know it had a slender skeleton, similar to other mosasaurs, but a bigger skull,” states Konishi. “This suggests that evolution in mosasaurs involved modifications to their head first, followed by the rest of their body.”  This was probably advantageous for all mosasaurs as they could share the same environment with reduced competition for the same kind of food source, which may have maintained, or even increased, an overall diversity of mosasaurs.
    The later part of mosasaur evolution is characterized by an increased tooth variation among different mosasaurs. Their overall diversity continued until they became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, about 65 million years ago.
    The findings from the study are published in the September 2011 edition of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


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