Designating a Provincial Fossil

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is seeking input from the public on designating a Provincial Fossil to be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia.

The designation of a Provincial fossil supports the principles of the Fossil Management Framework. The Framework recognizes fossils as important heritage resources with scientific and educational value.

British Columbia’s list of official symbols and emblems include:

  • Pacific Dogwood - adopted as the floral emblem in 1956
  • Jade - adopted as official gemstone in 1968
  • Steller’s Jay - adopted as official bird in 1987
  • Western Red Cedar - adopted as official tree in 1988
  • Spirit Bear - adopted as the mammal emblem in 2006
  • Pacific Salmon - adopted as the fish emblem in 2013

Voting for your favourite fossil candidate

Seven fossil candidates have been shortlisted through a public process in partnership with the British Columbia Paleontological Alliance (BCPA). The following criteria were used  to select the  fossil candidates:

  • Be well known and easily recognizable;
  • be more or less unique to British Columbia;
  • reflect the unique geography of British Columbia;
  • have wide appeal to a general audience;
  • serve as an educational vehicle through which the biology, ecology, and geology of the time it represents can be made clear; and
  • be amenable to designs for posters, displays and logos.

The online voting process uses a web-based questionnaire tool, SurveyMonkey, allows one vote per computer profile and includes a simple verification step to avoid development of computer scripts for automatic votes.

The Government of British Columbia will not collect, use or disclose personal information using SurveyMonkey. Please be aware however that IP addresses are collected by SurveyMonkey itself, and these IP addresses and other information collected will be stored on SurveyMonkey's servers located outside of Canada. This survey is voluntary and a response is encouraged, not required.

The voting period will close on Friday, November 23, 2018. The number of votes for each candidate will be tabulated through the survey tool.

The fossil with the most votes will be recommended for consideration as the provincial fossil emblem.

Fossil Candidates

The seven fossil candidates, presented alphabetically are as follows:

Scientific Name

Non-scientific Name

Period and Era

Canadoceras yokoyamai


Cretaceous Period

Mesozoic Era


Elasmosaur (marine reptile)

Cretaceous Period

Mesozoic Era

Eosalmo driftwoodensis


Paleogene Period

Cenozoic Era

Marrella splendens

Lace crab

Cambrian Period

Paleozoic Era

Olenoides serratus


Cambrian Period

Paleozoic Era

Shonisaurus sikanniensis

Ichthyosaur (marine reptile)

Triassic Period

Mesozoic Era

Yabeina columbiana

One-celled animal

Permian Period

Paleozoic Era