Sunday, 27 November 2016

40 DEGREES OF LATITUDE: THE ROCKIES

Images of darkened valleys, golden late summer light, icy-blue glaciers, white caps on an endless Pacific, small, hardy, yet perfect alpine flowers, spring to mind and each carries a small element but doesn't quite capture it. Heck, even our dog parks are ruggedly beautiful and by the sheer number of visits, would certainly define a large part of my west coast experience.

But the niggling thought is still there. Is there one a single element I could name that epitomizes this vast, diverse landscape? Sea to Sky, lakes to mountains, I've kayaked, hiked, sailed and lovingly explored a great deal of it. Through 40 degrees of latitude, from Yukon to Mexico, the Rocky Mountains are North America's geographic backbone.

This is the Great Continental Divide, where the interminable flatness of the interior collides with the Western Cordillera, a major mountain system of the world. From the highest ridges of the Rockies, the rivers flow to opposite corners of the land, north to the Beaufort Sea, south to the Gulf of Mexico, east to Hudson Bay and west to the Pacific.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Monday, 14 November 2016

AMMONITES OF THE ARNIOCERAS BEDS

Ammonites (and two gastropods) from the Arnioceras beds near Last Creek in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The fossils found here are from the Lower Jurassic, Lower Sinemurian, Little Paradise Member of the Last Creek formation. This site is part of the research area for Dr. Howard Tipper, GSC (who is hugely missed) and Dr. Louise Longridge, University of British Columbia.

Several ammonites species can be found here including Arnioceras semicostatum & Arnioceras miserable. The two gastropods you see in the central block have yet to be identified to species. Here's hoping a nice grad student takes an interest. The rare but lovely gastros from this area would make an excellent thesis. Perhaps comparing their distribution to their counterparts in Europe.