University of Alberta professor and former Royal Tyrrell Museum curator of dinosaurs Philip J. Currie is coming to Red Deer College to present new information about Alberta’s famous raptor on March 29th as a guest speaker for the Red Deer River Naturalists (RDRN).
“He’s probably Alberta’s foremost dinosaur expert, and has been for a while,” said Tony Blake, president of the RDRN.
Currie played an instrumental role in developing the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology into what it is today during his time as curator there.
When it comes to the new information on the raptor Blake said, “To be honest, I’m as curious as you.”
Saurornitholestes Langstoni, better known as the Raptor of Alberta, has been of significant interest since it was discovered and excavated by the University of Alberta paleontologist in 2014 in the Alberta Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The raptor is about the size of a German Shepherd Dog.
The skeleton Saurornitholestes langstoni is 75 million years old and is the most intact version of a small meat-eating dinosaur ever found in Canada. It is the only complete specimen known in the world.
Currie’s talks are well delivered and accessible for regular people, according to Blake.
Audience members do not have to have an advanced understanding of the field.
“I took my ten-year old to see him a few years ago and he ended up asking him some good questions, and he was right in it. Mind you he’s a smart kid,” Blake said.
“We hope people are curious and we want to give them something that justifies that curiosity. There’s always a sense of wonder about the natural world. It’s always neat to open up people’s eyes,” Blake said.
He added that the aim of the Red Deer River Naturalists is to encourage Albertans to take some pride in the nature around us.
“We really do live in a special place compared to the rest of the world; we’ve really got a lot going for us,” Blake said.
Presentations put on by the RDRN are always free of charge but as there is limited seating in the Margaret Parson’s Theatre at Red Deer College, they ask that those wishing to come reserve a ticket at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre in advance.
The Red Deer River Naturalists is a society dedicated to the public education and appreciation of natural history.
They offer talks on various scientific subjects once a month, free of charge.