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Thanatotheristes

Thanatotheristes (pronounced tha-NAH-toe-THER-ist-ees) is a genus of large, meat-eating dinosaur (theropod). Thanatotheristes means “Reaper of Death,” reflecting the dinosaur’s position as the top predator in its ecosystem. Thanatotheristes lived approximately 79.5 million years ago, making it the oldest tyrannosaur from Canada, and one of the oldest in the world. Its close relative, Tyrannosaurus rex, appeared about 11 million years after Thanatotheristes. Thanatotheristes is also the most-recent tyrannosaur discovered in Canada — the last species was named in 1970. Ranchers John and Sandra De Groot found bone fragments along the Bow River, Alberta in 2008. The remains were recognized as a new species 10 years later by Jared Voris, a graduate student at the University of Calgary.

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Ornithomimus

Ornithomimus (pronounced or-NEETH-oh-MY-mus) is a genus of medium-sized, plant-eating, theropod dinosaur that looked like an ostrich. Paleontologists recognize two species of Ornithomimus, one of which, Ornithomimus edmontonicus, lived in Canada. It existed between 72.6 to 69.6 million years ago in Alberta, although individuals that lived as far back as 76.5 million years ago have also been referred to as that species. Ornithomimus was covered with primitive, down-like feathers and sported wings that it used for courtship and display. Feathers were first discovered on Ornithomimus by François Therrien, a paleontologist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, in 2008 — the first time a feathered dinosaur had been discovered anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

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Mammoth

Mammuthus is an extinct genus of proboscideans closely related to living elephants. Two species of mammoth lived in Canada: the Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and the woolly mammoth (M. primigenius). The earliest record of Mammuthus is from the Pliocene epoch (5.3–2.6 million years ago). Most mammoth populations were extinct by the end of the Pleistocene epoch (about 10,000 years ago). In Canada, mammoth fossils have been found in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Later records of mammoths in Alberta overlap in time with archaeological records of Indigenous people. However, while there is evidence that people hunted mammoths elsewhere in North America, to date no similar evidence has been found in Canada.

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Albertonectes

Albertonectes (pronounced al-BER-toe-NEK-teez) is a genus of plesiosaur in the family Elasmosauridae. Plesiosaurs were not the same as dinosaurs, though they are sometimes mistakenly placed in the same category. Dinosaurs lived on land, while plesiosaurs were air-breathing reptiles that flourished in the world’s oceans during the same era. Specifically, Albertonectes lived during the Late Cretaceous period (100.5 million–66 million years ago). To date, Albertonectes fossils have only been found in Alberta, south of Lethbridge. Albertonectes had 76 neck bones, the most of any animal.

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Cryodrakon

Cryodrakon (pronounced CRY-oh-DRAH-kon) is a genus of giant pterosaur in the family Azhdarchidae. It lived toward the end of the Cretaceous period (76.5 million–74.8 million years ago) in southern Alberta. With a wingspan of at least 10 m — the equivalent of a small airplane — Cryodrakon was one of the largest flying animals ever known. It is also one of the first giant pterosaurs to have ever lived and the only pterosaur discovered in Canada.

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Borealopelta

Borealopelta is a genus of plant-eating, armoured dinosaur within the family Nodosauridae. It is closely related to the famous Ankylosaurus. Borealopelta lived during the Early Cretaceous period (145 million─100.5 million years ago) in Alberta. Paleontologists estimate the only fossil of the animal to be about 112 million years old, making Borealopelta Alberta’s oldest dinosaur. It was discovered in 2011 during mining north of Fort McMurray. The best-preserved armoured dinosaur in the world, paleontologists retrieved Borealopelta’s body uncrushed, with all its armour in place, and with stomach contents and large amounts of skin and scales still intact.

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Edmontosaurus

Edmontosaurus is a genus of large, plant-eating, duckbilled dinosaur. There are two species of Edmontosaurus. One, E. regalis, lived between 73.1 and 69.6 million years ago in Alberta. The other, E. annectens, lived between 68 and 66 million years ago in Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and possibly Alberta. Edmontosaurus was one of the largest North American herbivores of its time and even surpassed Tyrannosaurus rex in size. The first specimen to be called Edmontosaurus was discovered in 1912 in the Drumheller area. It became the first mounted dinosaur skeleton on display in Canada.

timeline event

300-Million-Year-Old Fossil Found in New Brunswick

Halifax high school students and amateur paleontologists Rowan Norrad and Luke Allen discovered a 300-million-year-old fossilized dragonfly wing near Grand Lake, New Brunswick. The length of the wing, about 10 cm, indicated a likely wingspan of 25 cm — much larger than contemporary dragonflies. The fossil was sent to the National Museum of Natural History in Paris for further analysis.

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Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.

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TC Energy (formerly TransCanada)

TC Energy Corporation (formerly TransCanada Corporation) is a natural gas, oil and power-generation company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. TC Energy owns more than 92,600 km of natural gas pipeline in North America and transports more than 25 per cent of the gas consumed on the continent. It also operates power plants and gas storage facilities. A public company, it trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TRP. In 2018, TC Energy registered $13.7 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in profit and held $98.9 billion in assets. The company employs about 7,300 people, more than half of them in Canada.

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Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL was a proposed 1,947 km long pipeline project that would have carried crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska. It was owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation. The pipeline was named XL for “export limited.” First proposed in July 2008, it was the prospective fourth phase of TC Energy’s existing Keystone Pipeline system. In Canada, Keystone XL had the support of both the federal and Alberta governments. However, the project faced significant opposition and legal challenges on environmental grounds. In January 2021, United States president Joe Biden cancelled its permit on his first day in office. On 9 June 2021, TC Energy and the Alberta government announced the termination of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Redpath Museum

The Redpath Museum is a natural history museum located on the grounds of McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1882, it is the first purpose-built museum in Canada and one of the oldest continually operating museums in the country. The Redpath’s expansive collection is divided into four broad groups: mineralogy, palaeontology, zoology and world cultures (ethnology). (See also Minerals; Anthropology in Canada.) The collections are housed in a stand-alone museum building of Greek Revival style (see Architecture). In addition to its public education function, the Redpath is an integrated component of McGill University’s Faculty of Science, complete with research labs and undergraduate and graduate courses that make use of the museum’s ample collections.

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Coal in Canada

Coal is a fossil fuel that has been used as a source of energy in Canada since the 18th century. Canada is home to 0.6 per cent of the world’s coal resources. Most of the country’s coal reserves (over 95 per cent) are found in AlbertaBritish Columbia and Saskatchewan. In recent years, the environmental movement has opposed the coal industry for disrupting local ecosystems, creating adverse health effects and for its large contribution to the carbon-dioxide emissions that drive climate change. In an effort to curb harmful emissions, the federal government has signalled its intention to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, and Alberta has a plan to achieve the same goal as a province.

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Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

The Trans Mountain Expansion is a project to build about 980 km of new pipe, most of which will run parallel to the existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The new line will carry diluted bitumen, or “dilbit,” from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. The expansion will increase the pipeline route’s overall capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

The project’s first owner, Kinder Morgan Canada, sold it to the Government of Canada in 2018. The Trans Mountain Expansion has been a focus of environmental and economic debates, as well as political conflicts. The $12.6 billion project is now under construction.

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Solar Energy

The energy contained in sunlight is the source of life on Earth. Humans can harness it to generate power for our activities without producing harmful pollutants. There are many methods of converting solar energy into more readily usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity. The technologies we use to convert solar energy have a relatively small impact on the environment. However, they each have disadvantages that have kept them from being widely adopted.

In Canada, the use of solar energy to generate electricity and heat is growing quickly and is helping reduce pollution related to energy production. Despite Canada’s cold climate and high latitudes (which get less direct sunlight than mid-latitudes), solar power technologies are used in many places, from household rooftops to large power plants. The Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board) expects solar power to make up 3 per cent of Canada’s total electricity generation capacity by 2040.