Turtle power! Morden, Manitoba is usually known for its corn and apples, but that could soon change with the installation of a giant life-sized sculpture of an Archelon turtle.
The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre commissioned the construction of turtle for the west end of Morden over a three-month period.
Resident dino artist Adolfo Cuetara donated his time to construct the beast, while other donors came forward to provide materials, funding and labour.
“The CFDC wants to see the museum expand into the public space,” said Peter Cantelon, executive director of the CFDC.
“By adding these high-quality, accurate, life-sized renditions of marine reptiles that used to live here, we allow people to connect with the deepest part of our history. It’s educational, it’s fun. It attracts tourists and tourism revenue to the city. And it instills a sense of pride in our unique heritage.”
The CFDC already has a sculpture of “Bruce,” the Guinness World Record-holding Mosasaur on the far east end of the city.
Fossils of the Archelon turtle, which is the largest turtle to ever live, currently sit in the CFDC collection. The species swam in the seas that covered Manitoba and Morden in the ancient past.
A naming contest for the piece is currently underway. Suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The top five names will be posted on DiscoverFossils.com and MordenMB.com on October 1. The public will then vote for their favourites.