NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The Badlands Dinosaur Museum was established in 1992, and it features fossils and minerals, a public prep lab, and a research and field program.
This summer, the museum’s digs found some pretty impressive fossils.
Each summer, staff members of the Badlands Dinosaur Museum and volunteers visit various dig sites in Montana and North Dakota.
“We spent three months out in the field. All the way from the beginning of June to the end of August,” said Denver Fowler, the curator for the Badlands Dinosaur museum.
The goal of the digs is to find new fossils to bring back to the museum.
“Sites we dug out was a bone bed where we have lots of different animals coming out. Mostly they’re big duck bills, these big plant-eating dinosaurs. But we’re also getting baby dinosaur material from that site, little tiny jaws of little babies. And this year, we found some more bones of a flying reptile called Pterosaur,” said Fowler.
The fossils that were found this year are from about 76 to 77 million years old.
And to put that in perspective, dinosaurs went extinct about 10 million years after that.
One of the bones Fowler and his group found belonged to a tyrannosaurus.
“This is a really important bone in tyrannosaurus. ’cause this is the bone above the eye. So this would’ve been the eye here. And here is the same bone on a tyrannosaurus skull. So we’ve got, this little bump above the eye. It changes shape with different species of tyrannosaurus,” said Fowler.
Another big find for the group is most of the bones of a duck-billed dinosaur.
It is nicknamed Rod’s Duck and it is about third grown and was around two to three years old when it died.
“It’s not got its head yet. We haven’t found that part yet, but we’ve got all the mid part of the body all connected up. That looks like something. ‘Cause usually these things just look like a brown lump in the ground you know? And that was all the bones connected and it looks really special,” said Fowler.
According to the Paleontology Database, North Dakota is not just one of the best places in the country to find dinosaur bones, it’s among the best places in the world.
And digs like Doctor Fowler’s prove just that to be true.
Fowler says most of the new fossil finds aren’t clean yet and it takes a while to clean them.
He says if anyone would like to volunteer to clean fossils, reach out to the museum.
You can call at 701-456-6225, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.