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Decapods: Warrior Crabs

Look how epic this little guy is! He is a crab — and if you asked him, the fiercest warrior that...

Crinoids: Beauties Of Echinodermata

Crinoids are unusually beautiful and graceful members of the phylum Echinodermata. They resemble...

Late Cretaceous Fauna: Colinoceras Tarrantense

Previously Calycoceras Tarrantense, this ammonite is now Conlinoceras tarrantense after J.P. Conlin...

Living Fossils: Winning The Slow Race Of Time

Horseshoe crabs are marine and brackish water arthropods of the order Xiphosura — a slowly evolving...

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Vancouver has a spectacular mix of mountains, lowlands all wrapped lovingly by our deep blue Pacific. When we look to the North Shore, the backdrop is made more spectacular by the Coast Mountains with a wee bit of the Cascades tucked in behind.

If you were standing on the top of the Lion's Gate Bridge looking north you'd see the Capilano Reservoir is tucked in between the Lions to the west and Mount Seymour to the east on the North Shore. The bounty of that reservoir flows directly into your cup! If you look down from the reservoir you'll see the Capilano River as it makes its way to the sea.
A traditional Chinese extract from the bark of the magnolia tree, an ancient genus that goes back some 95-million years, gives you fresh breath by killing off the nasty oral microbes that cause halitosis. My favorite individual tree is the magnolia growing on the grounds at Balboa Park. It is a magnificent example of the family Magnoliaceae and takes up nearly a whole city block. Older magnolia have this elegant quality of long draping branches, perfect for avoiding a predator while enjoying an afternoon's snooze.

Cache Creek is the gateway to B.C.'s Cariboo Country, sporting big, open fields, cowboys and horses. It is also the stepping off point for field trips to the Eocene fossil beds at McAbee and Kamloops Lake where fish, insects and plant fossils abound.

While the site is now an arid hillside topped with finger-like hoodoos, some 51 million years ago it was a flourishing lake. As fish and other inhabitants died, their remains settled to the bottom and were preserved in the fine-grained clay, ash and silt that would one day become shale. McAbee, named for the nearby village of McAbee on the Thompson River, is one of the richest and most accessible Eocene deposits in North America.

About two dozen families of eurypterids “sea scorpions” are known from the fossil record. Although these ancient predators have a superficial similarity, including a defensive needle-like spike or telson at their tail end, they are not true scorpions. They are an extinct group of arthropods related to spiders, ticks and mites and other extant creepy crawlies.