Collection of Silurian fishes and trilobites and articulated remains of Devonian chondrichthyans and other fishes from the Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T.
Principal Investigator: Wilson, Mark V.H. (3)
Licence Number: 12991
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2013 1998 1996 1990
Issued: Jul 13, 1998
Project Team: Dr. Brian D.E. Chatterton, Dr. Hans-Peter Schultze, Allan Lindoe, Brenda Hunda, Gavin Hanke, Kenneth Soehn

Objective(s): The objectives of our research are 1) to collect remains of Silurian and Devonian fishes, and 2) to collect the remains of Silurian trilobites. Previous trips to the Mackenzie Mountain localities demonstrated that the organisms preserved are valuable for determining relationships of Paleozoic fishes and trilobites. Also, these organisms are useful in providing information on the Paleozoic environments. Fish and trilobites will be collected to contribute to our knowledge of anatomical variation and of Paleozoic biostratigraphy, and geography. Trilobites will be collected from sections near Avalanche Lake. These remains will contribute to evaluation of relationships of Silurian trilobites. Fishes will be collected form the MOTH and Avalanche Lake localities. The biostratigraphy of the Mackenzie Mountain region is poorly known and so samples of rock will be collected from both the Avalanche Lake and MOTH localities to recover microscopic fish scales and conodont elements. These remains are valuable in determining the stratigraphic placement of the rock deposits relative to Canadian Arctic and European sequences. Five undescribed 'species' of chondrichthyan fishes and three species of acanthodians previously unknown in North America were recovered on the last (1996) trip to the Mackenzie Mountains. Better specimens are these are required to understand their phylogenetic relationships and to adequately describe each species.

Project Description: The objectives of the research are 1) to collect remains of Silurian and Devonian fishes, and 2) to collect remains of Silurian trilobites. Activities are limited to travel, residence at camp locations and collection of fossils. Helicopters will be used to access camp sites. We plan to land at Avalanche Lake on July 15, spending 6 days collecting fossils at Avalanche Lake, followed by one day of transport to the MOTH locality. Will collect material from Avalanche Lake. We will travel by helicopter to the MOTH locality around the 21st of July. The remainder of the time to August 5th will be spent at the MOTH locality. At the Avalanche Lake area we hike daily from base camp to each of the productive outcrops. At the fish bearing locality, fossils are picked from the talus slope, wrapped in packing foam, and at the end of the day, carried back to the camp. Samples to be trimmed from rocks with bricklayer's hammers. The fish bearing layers are completely exposed so no excavation is required to collect specimens. At the MOTH locality will hike 300 m up the mountain from camp to the locality where fossils are located. specimens will be packaged and returned to the University of Alberta. Estimated collection of 600 pounds of rock. Sample size will be limited by helicopter capacity, and available helicopter time. New forms collected should support research for academic staff and graduate students at the University of Alberta and collaboration with international scientists.