Clearly, the elasmosaur’s popularity inside the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre has stood the test of time.
That’s because the 80 million-year-old fossil was chosen late last week as the official fossil for the province.
In Nov. 2018, online voting closed for a contest put on by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The winning fossil will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia.
Other provincial symbols include the Spirit Bear, Steller’s Jay and Pacific Dogwood.
Courtenay’s Puntledge elasmosaur was discovered along the banks of the Puntledge River in 1988 by Mike Trask. It was included as one of seven important fossils from around the province including the ichthyosaur (marine reptile), ammonite, salmon and trilobite in the contest.
The elasmosaur received 48 per cent of the votes; its nearest competitor was the ichthyosaur with 15 per cent.