Royal Alberta Museum

Edmonton, Canada

Royal Alberta Museum

Edmonton, Canada
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Bolton M.S.,Royal Alberta Museum | Beaudoin A.B.,Royal Alberta Museum
Canadian Water Resources Journal | Year: 2017

Following floods experienced in southwestern Alberta in June 2013, 36 palaeoenvironmental sediment samples were collected from the banks of four affected streams: the Kananaskis River, Highwood River, Tongue Creek and Jumpingpound Creek. The sampled layers were deposited during the Holocene, and provide evidence of riparian ecology in the region since the end of the last glacial interval. The samples were processed to extract sub-fossil macroremains (including seeds, fruits, and aquatic and terrestrial mollusc shells). Macrofossils are particularly useful for creating fine-resolution (site-specific) reconstructions. An innovative aspect of this study was the derivation of regional bioclimatic trends through time. This was achieved by applying a dual-layered weighted calibration function which incorporated the relative productivity of indicator taxa, their modelled climatic optima, and the influence of climate (temperature and precipitation) on their ecological niche. Optima and climatic influence values were calculated using the machine-learning maximum entropy environmental niche modelling tool, MAXENT, trained on global occurrence records for the taxa. This study aimed to address gaps in prior palaeoenvironmental research, allowing for a spatially explicit quantitative reconstruction of climate in the transitional foothill region near Calgary. Results indicated warm conditions immediately following glacial retreat, followed by an early to mid-Holocene cooling which coincided with the driest interval. Temperature and moisture regimes oscillated in the mid-Holocene, exhibiting the highest values for both parameters. Increased moisture was at least in part prompted by increased input from summer glacial meltwater (the result of higher summer temperatures) which added to the riparian water budget. The mid- to late Holocene, and up to modern times, showed a gradual decrease in both moisture and temperature, until stabilizing near the Holocene average. © 2017 Her Majesty in Right of Canada

News Article | November 30, 2016

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 30, 2016) - Alberta Construction Magazine revealed the winners of its 2016 Top Projects Awards earlier today at a luncheon event in Edmonton at the Royal Glenora Club. Project of the Year went to Rogers Place, Edmonton's multi-use indoor arena, which also won the Commercial Design award. Opened to the public in September 2016, the project earned praise for its sustainability features and ambitious design. Judges described it as "one of the most significant sports complex construction projects ever undertaken in North America." Other double winners at the 15th annual Top Projects Awards included: "The Top Projects Awards judges were truly impressed by the high quality of work on display this year," said Joseph Caouette, editor of Alberta Construction Magazine. "Many of the winners overcame unique challenges to bring innovative technologies and practices to Alberta. All of the projects showcased the hard work and talent of this province's construction industry. Taken together, these projects offer a master class in what constitutes leading-edge construction in 2016." There were 11 winning projects chosen from a group of 26 finalists. Judges weighed many different factors when selecting winners, including sustainability, the use of advanced technologies, design complexity, and community and industry impact. More information on the Top Projects winners and finalists can be found in the Winter 2016 issue of Alberta Construction Magazine, as well as online at Project of the Year and Commercial Design: Rogers Place Institutional (Over $50 Million) and Institutional Design (tie): Royal Alberta Museum and Studio Bell For more than 75 years, JWN has provided trusted energy intelligence. Our energy professionals provide the information, insight and analysis organizations need to stay informed and understand what's happening in the energy industry. JWN provides a range of products and services to help companies gain the insights they need to stay competitive, including industry and company benchmarking, custom data sets, market intelligence, custom intelligence and outlook reports, integrated marketing solutions, and events and conferences. JWN's flagship products include the Daily Oil Bulletin, Oilweek and the Comprehensive Oilfield Service and Supply Directory.

News Article | October 12, 2016

An ornithological mystery has been solved! Puzzling red feathers have been popping up in eastern North America's "yellow-shafted" population of Northern Flickers, but they aren't due to genes borrowed from their "red-shafted" cousins to the west, according to a new study inThe Auk: Ornithological Advances. Instead, the culprit is a pigment that the birds are ingesting in the berries of exotic honeysuckle plants. The Northern Flicker comes in two varieties--the birds of the west have a salmon pink or orange tinge to the undersides of their wings, while the eastern birds are yellow. Where the two populations meet in the middle, they frequently hybridize, producing birds with a blend of both colors. For years, however, flickers far to the east of the hybrid zone have been popping up with red-orange wing feathers. The prevailing explanation has been that they must somehow have genes from the western population, but Jocelyn Hudon of the Royal Alberta Museum and his colleagues have determined that the eastern birds' unusual color actually has a different source: a pigment called rhodoxanthin, which comes from the berries of two species of invasive honeysuckle plants. Hudon and his colleagues used spectrophotometry and chromatography to show that rhodoxanthin, rather than the type of carotenoid pigment that colors western red-shafted birds, was present in the feathers of yellow-shafted flicker specimens with the aberrant red coloration. Data from a bird-banding station helped confirm that the birds acquire the red pigment during their fall molt about early August, which coincides with the availability of ripe honeysuckle berries. The honeysuckles have also been implicated as the source of unusual orange feathers in Cedar Waxwings. "At one point considered valuable wildlife habitat and widely disseminated, the naturalized Asian bush honeysuckles are now considered invasive and undesirable in many states. This is clearly not the last we have heard of aberrantly colored birds," says Hudon. "The ready availability of a pigment that can alter the coloration of birds with carotenoids in their plumages could have major implications for mate selection if plumage coloration no longer signaled a bird's body condition." "This is the pinnacle of a lengthy series of papers on the pigments deposited in primary feathers. Hudon et al. make use of the most up-to-date spectrometric and biochemical analyses to identify and quantify the pigments," according to Alan Brush, an expert on feather color and retired University of Connecticut professor who was not involved with the study. "In addition to demonstrating that the red pigments in the molting yellow-shafted feathers are derived from their diets, not the result of interbreeding with the red-shafted form, they illuminate the dynamic nature of pigment deposition during molt, an accomplishment in itself."

News Article | June 8, 2016

Could the bison provide clues to the mystery of ancient American settlement? Bones of giant steppe bison and traces of their ice-age hunters have led researchers to conclude that early humans likely colonized North America south from Alaska along the Pacific coast – not through the Rocky Mountains as previously thought. But when and how this happened remains a mystery. Not Through The Rocky Mountains Corridor? The first ancient people in America are thought to have reached their destination from Siberia using an ice-free corridor up along the Rocky Mountains during the late Pleistocene era. It remains uncertain when the crossing was created and how the people spread across the rest of America. The traditional assumption is that people swept into the continent in a single wave 13,500 years ago, but there has been contradicting evidence that human societies have settled far east 14,500 years earlier and far south over 15,000 years earlier. More recent proof shows, too, that the Rocky Mountain corridor was open until about 21,000 years ago, at the height of the last ice age when east and west ice sheets coalesced and completely separated populations. Now, using radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis, researchers from University of California Santa Cruz followed ancient hunters and tracked bison movements. Studying 78 bison fossils, they found two distinct populations to the north and south, as well as traced when the animals migrated and interbred. They discovered southern bison started moving in first with the opening of the southern part of the corridor, followed by the northern bison. The two started to mingle in the open pass approximately 13,000 years ago. What this means: the mountains likely cleared of ice over a thousand years post-human colonization in the south – a suggestion that early humans first inhabited the Americas along the Pacific coast. "When the corridor opened, people were already living south of there,” said study author and ecology and evolutionary biology professor Beth Shapiro. “And because those people were bison hunters, we can assume they would have followed the bison as they moved north into the corridor.” First author and postdoc researcher Peter Heintzman said that given these results, one would be pressed to think otherwise. “Fourteen to 15,000 years ago, there’s still a hell of a lot of ice around everywhere,” he told the Guardian. “And if that wasn’t opened up you’d have to go around the ice, and going the coastal route is the simplest explanation.” The Rocky Mountains corridor, however, remains important for its role in later migrations and idea exchange between people north and south, Heintzman added. Heintzman pointed to tidal erosion for little archeological evidence along the Pacific coast to vouch for its use among ancient people in migrating south. In the north, on the other hand, site dating is improving, but there are only a handful found in the land bridge along the Bering Strait. Here enters fossils of bison, which are deemed the most numerous mammals of their kind in western North America. These animals, unlike most other large mammals like sloths and dire wolves, also survived mass extinction events. The over-6-foot tall steppe bison of this period were much more massive than their living counterparts, according to author Duane Froese from the University of Alberta in Canada. Modern bison descended from these giants, Heintzman said, although they reside south of the range of their ancestors. Many of the fossil samples came from the Royal Alberta Museum and other institutions’ collections. They were revealed through mining operations and later made available for scientific research. The findings were published on June 6 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Beard J.,Queensland Museum | Walter D.E.,Royal Alberta Museum
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

The concept of Yezonychus Ehara is revised. A new genus, Neonidulus, is erected to accommodate four species: N.cornus (Pritchard & Baker), N. falsicornus (Zhang & Martin) and N. brevipilus (Zhang & Martin) from New Zealand, and a new species described from the central east coast of Australia, N. tereotus. Copyright © 2010.

Edwards M.A.,Royal Alberta Museum | Edwards M.A.,University of Alberta | Derocher A.E.,University of Alberta | Nagy J.A.,University of Alberta
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The area traversed in pursuit of resources defines the size of an animal's home range. For females, the home range is presumed to be a function of forage availability. However, the presence of offspring may also influence home range size due to reduced mobility, increased nutritional need, and behavioral adaptations of mothers to increase offspring survival. Here, we examine the relationship between resource use and variation in home range size for female barren-ground grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) of the Mackenzie Delta region in Arctic Canada. We develop methods to test hypotheses of home range size that address selection of cover where cover heterogeneity is low, using generalized linear mixed-effects models and an information-theoretic approach. We found that the reproductive status of female grizzlies affected home range size but individually-based spatial availability of highly selected cover in spring and early summer was a stronger correlate. If these preferred covers in spring and early summer, a period of low resource availability for grizzly bears following den-emergence, were patchy and highly dispersed, females travelled farther regardless of the presence or absence of offspring. Increased movement to preferred covers, however, may result in greater risk to the individual or family. © 2013 Edwards et al.

Miller N.G.,Biological Survey | Hastings R.I.,Royal Alberta Museum
Bryologist | Year: 2013

Summarized are results of field studies of small, cushion-forming species of Grimmia in high altitude mountain areas of New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and of associated research with herbarium specimens from these regions. We here report eight species. Grimmia anodon is added to the flora of the Northeast, and new records and clarifications are presented for G. donniana, G. incurva, G. longirostris, G. milleri, G. sessitana, and G. trichophylla. Collections of these species came from rock types of varying composition (calcareous to acidic), sometimes different vegetation, and varying altitudinal ranges. In spite of these advancements in knowledge, Grimmia of the northeastern United States remains incompletely understood, taxonomically and ecologically. Copyright © 2013 by The American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Inc.

Oetelaar G.A.,University of Calgary | Beaudoin A.B.,Royal Alberta Museum
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

In a series of papers, we adopted a regional perspective to explore the short and long-term impacts of the Mount Mazama eruption on the plant and animal communities of the northwestern Plains and later developed a model to explain human responses to this natural disaster. The model assumed the convergence of natural disasters which forced the local bison hunters to abandon the impacted zone and to seek refuge among their distant relatives living beyond the eastern limits of their homeland. Together, the refugees and their hosts intensified their subsistence strategies and adapted or developed new methods of food preparation to accommodate the increased pressure on the local resource base. Throughout their stay, the groups continued to monitor the rebirth of their traditional homeland and eventually returned to the places occupied by their ancestors. Upon their return, the groups continued to hunt bison but adapted the stone boiling technology to produce bone grease and pemmican. This nutritious, storable and transportable food source alleviated the concerns about long-term shortages and became an important product in the regional exchange networks. The primary objective of this paper is to test this model using sedimentary, pedological and archaeological data recovered from two deeply stratified sites with evidence of human occupations before and after the eruption of Mount Mazama. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Brink J.W.,Royal Alberta Museum
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

Pronghorn (Antilocapra Americana) were communally hunted over much of western North America. Typically, this was done using V-shaped containment structures of wood and brush leading to an enclosure, pit, or other type of kill site. Such traps are best known in the Great Basin, but less so on the Great Plains. Only one pronghorn drive that utilized lines of stones as the animal-guiding mechanism has been recorded in the latter region. This paper reports on a second occurrence, the Barnett site in southeastern Alberta, Canada. Here, two converging lines of stone form the drive funnel. Rocks are preferentially loaded towards the narrow end, where greatest control was needed. A pit may have been located at the end of the drive, where sharp angles in the stone lines may have been places for archers to station themselves. A review of pronghorn behaviour focuses on their innate curiosity and how this trait was manipulated by knowledgeable hunters. Shamans, or antelope charmers, were key figures in the communal hunts for their role in summoning pronghorn to the traps. It is argued that pronghorn were primarily lured to the Barnett site at which point they were driven down the stone lines.When he [Old Man] was in the mountains, he made the antelope out of dirt, and turned it lose, to see how it would go. It ran so fast that it fell over some rocks and hurt itself. He saw that this would not do, and took the antelope down on the prairie, and turned it lose; and it ran away fast and gracefully, and he said, " This is what you are suited to" (Blackfoot Lodge Tales, Grinnell, 1962, pp. 138). © 2013 .

Jass C.N.,Royal Alberta Museum | Allan T.E.,Royal Alberta Museum
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2016

Camelid remains are known from several Quaternary palaeontological localities in Alberta, yet most specimens are undescribed in the literature. Specimens reported here comprise a large sample of the known camelid record from the province and provide further insight into the record of Quaternary megafauna of western Canada. Remains from the Edmonton area include specimens pre- and post-dating the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), whereas remains from the Vauxhall area are post-LGM. A metapodial fragment of a giant camel originally described asTitanotylopus from the Edmonton area is likely from earlier in the Pleistocene or late Pliocene. Camelid remains are not overly abundant in Alberta, but are widely distributed, having been recovered from several sites across the province. A new radiocarbon date of 11280 ± 40 14C years BP on a radioulna of Camelops cf. C. hesternus represents only the fourth direct age assessment of a Quaternary camelid from Alberta. Radiocarbon data may suggest linkages to patterns of extirpation observed in camelid populations from northern Canada, followed by recolonization following deglaciation. © 2016, National Research Council of Canada. All rights reserved.

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