Famed Canadian palaeontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie, well known in the Peace Region for having the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley named after him, now has a fifth dinosaur named in his honour.
Derek Larson, who’s the Assistant Curator at the museum, says the Albertavenator curriei, which means “Currie’s Alberta hunter” was just named this week.
“It’s a new species of theropod, or meat eating dinosaur.”
“This specimen was known about for several years, and had been collected by the Royal Tyrrell Museum from the Drumheller region. It’s from rocks about 71-million years old. Those are the same sorts of rocks we have up in the Grande Prairie region, along the Wapiti River,” Larson added.
Previously, the rocks were thought to be from a Troodon.
Naming the newly discovered dino was apparently a no-brainer.
“Part of the reason why we’ve named our museum after Phil (Currie) is because he’s such an icon in Alberta palaeontology, and that’s actually the same reason that we named this dinosaur after him as well. I mean, he’s an icon in Canadian palaeontology and this is a group of dinosaurs that he’s very closely associated with, and has worked on for basically his entire career,” said Larson.
When it still existed, the dinosaur was about the size of an average human, walked on two legs and was covered in feathers.
The other four dinosaurs named after Dr. Currie are the Quilmesaurus curriei, Teratophoneus curriei, Epichirostenotes curriei and Philovenator curriei.