A large piece of metasequoia tree trunk, also known as dawn redwood, found in a diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe at Lac de Gras. The metasequoia, a deciduous conifer, was a common swamp plant around 52 million years ago. At that time the region, today a tundra landscape, was humid, temperate, and forested. When the kimberlite volcano erupted, the remains of the tree collapsed into the top and was encased in the kimberlite rock. It is real wood, not mineralized or petrified, and is sometimes referred to as ’fossil wood’.
A flat slab showing xenocrysts of large green olivine crystals, set in a fine-grained matrix of other minerals. This is an example of the rock where diamonds are found. Specimen is from the Snap Lake diamond mine operated by De Beers Canada Inc. from 2008 to 2015.
Upper and lower jaw of an ichthyosaur (Maiaspondylus lindoei) with teeth intact. The fossil is from the Loon River Formation on the Hay River and dates to the Lower Cretaceous, about 110 million years ago. Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that looked a bit like the modern dolphin.