Tim Tokaryk | Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology

Royal Saskatchewan Museum
T.rex Discovery Centre
#1 T.Rex Drive, P.O. Box 460 
EASTEND SK  S0N 0T0
Ph: 306-295-4701
Fax: 306-295-4702

Adjunct Professor 
Geology Department
University of Regina

Email: Tim.Tokaryk@gov.sk.ca

Research Interests
Research Projects
Prospective Graduate Students
Peer-reviewed Publications


Research Interests

Cretaceous
The diversity of vertebrate remains from the Cretaceous Period of Saskatchewan is still relatively an untold story.  My research interests in exploring and exploiting these faunas began in 1985. A requirement for any discussion of patterns and relevance's of faunas as used in databases hinges on a discoveries inclusion into the taxonomic realm. As such I have given considerable time and effort to expanding the known late Cretaceous vertebrate record. This includes collection and research initiatives in the vertebrate faunas of the Ashville Formation (Cenomanian), Favel Formation (Turonian), Pierre Shale (Campanian), Bearpaw Shale (Campanian), Whitemud Formation (Maastrichtian), Eastend Formation (Maastrichtian), and Frenchman Formation (Maastrichtian). Iconic discoveries include dinosaurs (T. rex for one), primitive and more contemporary birds, marine reptiles (plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, and early crocodiles), and much, much more.

Tertiary
The majority of research in Saskatchewan - since the early 1900s century - has focused on the Tertiary mammal faunas from southern Saskatchewan. My research interests in these collections plans to invest in the understanding of the non-mammals components of the faunas. Each of the known 11 local faunas, for example, from the Cypress Hills Formation (late Eocene to Miocene) contains a wealth of under-reported small reptiles, fish, birds, and amphibians.  After documenting their occurrences, this information will be essential in understanding patterns of climate change, adaptation and extinction, as the biodiversity encroaches upon more contemporary environments.

Other
The Heritage Property Act identifies that fossils are a non-renewable resource, and as such attempts to protect them.  I take this very seriously and am involved in mitigating incidences of possible intrusions into the fossil record by human agents and activities. As a provincial legislation, this expands my own role, plus the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (as under the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Act) in identifying potential disturbances and discoveries.

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Research Projects

My research projects centre on recreating palaeoenvironments from the northern end surrounding and within the Western Interior Seaway of the late Cretaceous Period, as well as flushing out the diversity of non-mammalian vertebrates from the rich Tertiary deposits of southwest Saskatchewan. Much of this is entirely new to faunal and floral reconstructions, which have historically focused on northern and central United States as well as parts of Alberta.

I am currently working on establishing the first vertebrate fossils from the Eastend Formation (~70 mya), a estuarial deposit; the diversity of vertebrates from a bone-bed from the Bearpaw Formation (~75 mya), a marine deposit; and with Don Brinkman (Royal Tyrrell Museum) the diversity of turtles near the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary of the Frenchman Formation (~65 mya), a terrestrial deposit. I have my hand in several other projects and am informally advising a few students at the University of Saskatchewan.

This current slate of research projects is augmented with a deep interest in preserving and recording the history of vertebrate palaeontology across the prairies.

Prospective Graduate Students

I hope to establish an atmosphere of vertebrate history at the University of Regina through my adjunct status. I am looking for fourth-year students willing to work on honours projects, related to my diverse vertebrate palaeontological interests, preferably in a two-term class.

Graduate projects would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis, with the guidelines set out by the Biology Department at the University of Regina.

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Peer-reviewed Publications

Longrich, N. R., Tokaryk, T., and Field, D. J., 2011. Mass Extinction of birds at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108: 15253-15257.

Tokaryk, T. T., and H. N. Bryant. 2004. The fauna from the Tyrannosaurus rex excavation, Frenchman Formation (Late Maastrichtian), Saskatchewan. Summary of Investigations, 1, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Sask. , Misc. Rep. 2004-4.1.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2002. A humerus from a juvenile Triceratops sp. (Ornithischia; Ceratopsidae) from the Frenchman Formation (Late Maastrichtian), Saskatchewan. Summary of Investigations 2002, 1, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Misc. Rep., 2002-4.1: 151-154.

Chin, K., T. Tokaryk, G. M. Erickson, L. C. Calk 1998. A king-sized theropod coprolite. Nature 393: 680-682.

Tokaryk, T. T., S. L., Cumbaa, and J. E. Storer 1997. Early late Cretaceous birds from Saskatchewan, Canada: the oldest diverse avifauna known from North America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 17: 172-176.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1997.  First evidence of juvenile ceratopsians (Reptilia: Ornithischia) from the Frenchman Formation (late Maastrichtian) of Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 34: 1401-1404.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1993. A Plioplatecarpine mosasaur from the Bearpaw Shale (Upper Cretaceous) of Saskatchewan, Canada. Modern Geology 18: 503-509.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1992. Additions to the Cenozoic avian fauna of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History, Occasional Short Notes 4: 1-4.

Tokaryk, T. T., and C. R. Harington 1992. Baptornis sp. (Aves: Hesperornithiformes) from the Judith River Formation (Campanian) of Saskatchewan, Canada.  Journal of Paleontology 66: 1010-1012.

Case, G. R., T. T. Tokaryk, and D. Baird 1990. Selachians from the Niobrara Formation of the Upper Cretaceous (Coniacian) of Carrot River, Saskatchewan, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 27: 1084-1094.

Nicholls, E., T. T. Tokaryk, and L. V. Hills 1990. Cretaceous marine turtles from the western interior seaway of Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 27: 1288-1298.

Eberth, D. A., D. R. Braman, and T. T. Tokaryk 1990.  Stratigraphy, sedimentology and vertebrate paleontology of the Judith River Formation (Campanian) near Muddy Lake, west-central Saskatchewan. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology 38: 387-406.

Tokaryk, T. T., and P. C. James 1989. Cimolopteryx sp. (Aves, Charadriiformes) from the Frenchman Formation (Maastrichtian), Saskatchewan.  Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 26: 2729-2730.

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Abstracts

Bamforth, E., Larsson, H. C. E., and Tokaryk, T. T., 2009.  Beneath the feet of the T. rex: New microfaunal material below the K-T boundary, Frenchman Formation, Southern Saskatchewan. Canadian Paleontology Conference.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2009. An Ornithurine bird from the Frenchman Formation (Latest Maastrichtian), Saskatchewan; p. 52 in T. T. Tokaryk and E. Snively (eds.), Frenchman Formation Terrestrial Ecosystem Conference, Program and Abstracts. Royal Saskatchewan Museum Contribution to Science Number 12.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2009. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum and contemporary paleontology; p. 53-54 in T. T. Tokaryk and E. Snively (eds.), Frenchman Formation Terrestrial Ecosystem Conference, Program and Abstracts. Royal Saskatchewan Museum Contribution to Science Number 12.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2009. A partial skeleton of Champsosaurus from the Frenchman Formation (Maastrichtian) of Saskatchewan; pp. 55-59 in T. T. Tokaryk and E. Snively (eds.), Frenchman Formation Terrestrial Ecosystem Conference, Program and Abstracts. Royal Saskatchewan Museum Contribution to Science Number 12.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2009. A giant trionychid? from the Frenchman Formation (Latest Maastrichtian) of Saskatchewan; pp. 60-61 in T. T. Tokaryk and E. Snively (eds.), Frenchman Formation Terrestrial Ecosystem Conference, Program and Abstracts.  Royal Saskatchewan Museum Contribution to Science Number 12.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2009. Head-hunting in Saskatchewan: the history of Triceratops; pp. 61-62 in T. T. Tokaryk and E. Snively (eds.), Frenchman Formation Terrestrial Ecosystem Conference, Program and Abstracts. Royal Saskatchewan Museum Contribution to Science Number 12.

Sato, T., and T. Tokaryk 2001. Polycotylid from the upper Campanian Bearpaw Formation of southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada: latest short-necked plesiosaur from North America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 21, supplement to number 3: 97A.

Cumbaa, S. L., T. T. Tokaryk, C. Collom, J. D. Stewart, T. S. Ercit, R. G. Day l997. A Cenomanian age bone bed of marine origin, Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 17, supplement to number 3: 40A.

Chin, K., T. Tokaryk, and G. M. Erickson 1996. Probable Tyrannosaurus rex coprolite from the Maastrichtian Frenchman Formation of Saskatchewan. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 16, supplement to number 3: 27A.

Cumbaa, S. L., and T. T. Tokaryk 1993. Early birds, crocodile tears, and fish tales: Cenomanian and Turonian marine vertebrates from Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 13, supplement to number 3: 31a-32a.

Cumbaa, S. L., T. T. Tokaryk, D. M. Jarzen 1992. Paleoecology of a late Cretaceous near shore marine environment, Pasquia Hills, Saskatchewan. Canadian Paleontology Conference, Program and Abstracts: 11.

Tokaryk, T. T., and J. E. Storer 1991. Dinosaur eggshell fragments from Saskatchewan, and evaluation of potential distance of eggshell transport. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 11, supplement to number 3: 58A.

Nicholls, E. and T. T. Tokaryk 1990. The Northern Niobrara: Fossil Vertebrate Faunas from the Niobrara Formation of Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 10, supplement to number 3: 36A-37A.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1988. Preliminary vertebrate faunal list of the Oldman Formation, Saskatchewan. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 8, supplement to number 3: 28A.

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Other

Tokaryk, T. T. 2004. Scientific literature not an oxymoron. Quill & Quire 70 (11): 8.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2002. Obituary: William Anthony Swinton Sarjeant, 1935-2002. Geology Today 18: 210-211.

Tokaryk, T. T. 2001. News values: the "behavior" of careful reporting. Geology Today 17: 211-212.

Tokaryk, T. T. l997. Facing the past: a cursory review of paleontology in southern Saskatchewan; pp. 9-28 in L. McKenzie-McAnally (ed.), Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Southern Saskatchewan. Canadian Paleontology Conference Field Trip Guidebook number 6.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1997. Preliminary review of the non-mammalian vertebrates from the Frenchman Formation (late Maastrichtian) of Saskatchewan; pp. 34-44 in L. McKenzie-McAnally (ed.), Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Southern Saskatchewan. Canadian Paleontology Conference Field Trip Guidebooknumber 6.

Tokaryk, T. T. l997. Selling Palaeontology. Geology Today13: 109-112.

Tokaryk, T. T., J. E., Storer, and E. M. V. Namburiri 1992. Selected bibliography of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary event, through 1989. Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History, Natural History Contributions 11.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1991. Degrees of freedom. Nature350: 183.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1990. Technician-scientist [letter to the editor]. American Scientist 78:97.

Tokaryk, T. T. 1986. H. S. "Corky" Jones: A biographical note. Blue Jay 44: 145-149.

 

Awards

Saskatchewan Geological Society, Honour Roll Inductee – 2014