Friday, April 5, 2013

No. 6 - - Hylonomus of Nova Scotia

[6] Hylonomus – Nova Scotia (2002)

This isn’t a dinosaur, in fact it’s a small reptile from the Precambrian era, 312 million years ago, ages before the dinosaurs evolved. This could, in a very liberal sense of the word, make Hylonomus the great grand father of dinosaurs, though probably not in any literal or figurative way.

Only 20 centimetres long and not even a dinosaur, this is still Canada’s greatest “state” fossil because it is Canada’s only state fossil, located in the fossilized, club-moss stumps of Joggins, Nova Scotia.

Now, let’s be clear, Canada finds ways to honour its dinosaurs in more scientific ways. Rather than adopting a cool fossil as its official provincial fossil, they instead name the cool fossils after the province (or a big city in the province) which is why we have the wicked-cool Albertasaurus, Edmontonia, Albertaceratops and Edmontosaurus.

British Columbia had a competition back in 2010 to vote for a fossil to be recognized as one of the province’s official symbols, and there was a strong “elasmosaurus lobby” to honour the serpentine aquatic reptile.

I can’t find a single result to come from this competition, but the list of nominees for the competition can be found here.

In any case, none of these nominees are dinosaurs, just as hylonomus isn't, too.

The countdown will resume next Wednesday - tune in then!


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