Gift of fossil artifacts

The Royal BC Museum will be the new home for a collection of fossils from the McAbee heritage site.

About 18,000 specimens have been donated to the museum from the collection of the late John Leahy, who was a teacher from the Kamloops area and known as an “informed-amateur” in the world of fossils.

Leahy and his colleague David Langevin selected and studied specimens that had scientific value.

The McAbee beds near Cache creek is comprised of fossils from the early Eocene epoch, which was 52 million years ago.

Museum curator Richard Hebda says the collection includes many species new to science and various organisms, such as plants, insects and fish.

Jack Lohman, CEO of the Victoria museum, hopes the collection will be used as a research resource and for educational activities.

The collection comes just as the province kicks off a provincewide campaign that encourages people to vote for an official provincial fossil.

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