Potato Range, Chilcotin, BC

This sample comes from the Potato Range mountains, east of Tatlayoko Lake in the Chilcotin region of central BC. It contains many fragments of Baculites fossils. Baculites are an extinct genus of cephalopods related to ammonites. Like ammonites, Baculites swam in oceans worldwide during the Cretaceous. Unlike ammonites, Baculites had only slightly curved shells and have left behind mainly rod-like fossils. Baculites fossils are very brittle, so most of the fossils we see today are only fragments, like the ones in this sample. Baculites are thought to have floated in the water column, controlling their buoyancy by releasing gas through a series of chambers inside their shells, just like Nautilus today.

The exact sample location is uncertain, but it’s probably within the Relay Mountain Group of rocks that make up most of the Potato Range. The rocks are mainly sedimentary and include mudstones, siltstones and sandstones, as well as some fossil beds that also contain belemnites and ammonites. Overall, the package of rocks represents a period of sea level change during the Cretaceous, recorded by the presence of different types of sedimentary rocks and fossils. This particular specimen contains fossil fragments in sandstone. It might have formed in a shallow ocean environment, not too far from the ancient shoreline.

Specimen Information

Store: Association for Mineral Exploration


Accession #: 168

Primary Fossil: Bactulites

Site Locality: Ta Ha Lake

Location: Chilcotin, British Columbia

Special Features: n/a

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