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Canadian Explorers
Canadian Explorers

Canada's greatest explorers 2015


Philip Currie


Photo credit: Eva Koppelhus

Fossil finder

Expertise: Paleontology, archeology, Flora, fauna, Education

By Nick Walker

Ever heard that dinosaurs were likely the feathered ancestors of birds? Or seen illustrations of huge carnivorous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex or albertosaurus hunting in packs? Credit Philip Currie’s key field and lab work for these and other now widely accepted theories.

Currie, a University of Alberta professor and Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Paleobiology, also has a gift for international relations — between dinosaur scientists, at least. He’s unearthed new fossils in Canada, China and Mongolia, Antarctica, Argentina and Australia, and has named no fewer than 25 dinosaur and dinosaur-predecessor species since the early 1980s. And not only is he a founder of the famed Royal Tyrrell Museum of paleontology in Drumheller, Alta., he’s got another museum named after him. The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, a spectacular, angled abstraction of a building next to a mass horned-dinosaur grave 20 kilometres west of Grande Prairie in northern Alberta, is slated to open this fall.


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