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Ferrodraco lentoni being prepared - Naomi Miles.jpg

Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Queensland, Australia

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2024 Dates

Mondays through Saturdays  
from March-October x


Ages 12+ (children 12-16 must be accompanied)

Limited to 12 participants

Participation is subject to availability and is at the full discretion of the dig location. Prices and dates dates subject to change. All Terms + Conditions apply.

Add a custom travel itinerary beforehand or afterwards!


You can also ask us about arranging a personalized dig date and itinerary to fit your schedule.

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About the Australian Age of Dinosaurs


The Australian Age of Dinosaurs offers an immersive paleontology lab prep experience where you can join the paleontologists to clean and prepare fossils specimens that have been discovered in the Winton Formation. This is a Cretaceous formation in central-western Queensland, Australia. It consists of sedimentary rocks such as sandstone, siltstone and claystone ­­that are the remnants of the river plains that filled the basin left by the Eromanga Sea – an inland sea that covered large parts of Queensland and central Australia at least four times during the Early Cretaceous.


By virtue of its age and the environmental conditions under which the rocks it consists of were deposited, the Winton Formation represents one of the richest sources of dinosaur fossils anywhere in Australia. Most are sauropod fossils~gigantic four-legged plant eaters which are characterized by their long necks, large bellies, pillar-like limbs, long tails and small heads. 

Fossils found and prepared in the lab: Australovenator wintonensis, Diamantinasaurus matildae, Savannasaurus elliottorum, Wintonotian Wattsi,Ferrodraco lentoni, Confractosuchus sauroktonos and Snake Creek tracksite

Period: Cretaceous

Formation: Winton

All the digs featured on Ancient Odysseys are non-profits and rely upon visitors and donations to continue their important scientific work. Please consider donating if you would like to support this organization's mission. All donations are tax deductible.

About the Fossils You'll Be Working on in the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Lab

Dinosaur fossil from Australian Age of Dinosaurs

During the Prep-a-Dino lab experience at the Australian Age of Dinosau, you will have the opportunity to learn to prepare an array of 100-95-million year-old Cretaceous sauropod and theropod ribs, pelvic girdles, limb bones and clavicles, in addition to Eocene turtle bones, Devonian coral, Cretaceous ammonites and Proterozoic stromatolites. You will be part of a long tradition of Prep-a-Dino participants who have prepared specimens in the Australian Age of Dinosaur Museum's collection over the years. 

The Prep-a-Dino experience is an important aspect of paleontology. Once fossils are collected from the field, they must be meticulously cleaned and prepared in a lab environment. This allows scientists and researchers to study the species in detail. The preservation of the dinosaur fossils in the Australian Age of Dinosaurs' collection is impressive, even by world standards.

What to Expect Working in the Lab at Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Dinosaur fossils in the prep lab

Choose from 

  • 1-Day in the Lab: AU $99

  • 3-Days in the Lab: AU $229

  • 5-Day in the Lab: AU $359

Don't miss your chance to spend one or more days at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum preparing real dinosaur fossils for display and touring the facilities. With 12 positions available, this is a great opportunity for anyone looking for an express induction into fossil preparation in Outback Queensland. 

  • Induction and training with a senior Museum Technician with safety gear is provided). As participants gain more confidence and refine their preparation skills, they are progressively given harder specimens to work on.

  • Mechanical preparation of dinosaur bones, including restoration, repairs using: 

    • Air chisel which removes large chips of rock.

    • Air scribes or WEN pens which are the standard tool used for the removal of rock or matrix from around the fossil.

    • Micro-jacks remove rock from around the fossil, grain by grain, and is used on fragile specimens as well as smaller fossils like teeth.

  • Consolidation of specimens, sieving, sorting of matrix for micro-fossils and helping to put pieces of the dinosaur puzzle together.​

  • Guided tour of the most productive Fossil Preparation Laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere

  • Movie presentation in the Collection Room surrounded by the only fossil examples of Australovenator (Banjo), Diamantinasaurus (Matilda) and Savannasaurus (Wade) – in the world!

  • Immersive guided tour of the March of the Titanosaurs exhibition and self-guided exploration of Dinosaur Canyon, an outdoor exhibition featuring life-sized bronze dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Garden

  • Membership to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs society + the latest copy of the AAOD Journal.​

  • Accommodations are not included. Add accommodations onsite at Maloney Lodge Precinct with prices starting at $67/night.

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An interview with Dr. Matt Herne | Curator of Palaeontology | Australian Age of Dinosaurs

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  1. What makes your site significant?
    In our work, we are progressively unearthing and revealing a remarkable, mid-Cretaceous ecosystem in Australia, of floodplain rivers, lakes and forests where dinosaurs, crocodilians and flying reptiles thrived alongside a vast inland sea that was inhabited by giant marine reptiles, early marine turtles, fishes and a multitude of marine invertebrates.

  2. What has been most surprising about your discoveries at AAOD?
    How, in the short space of about 24 years, three titanosaurian dinosaurs, a megaraptoran theropod, an anhanguerid pterosaur and a eusuchian crocodyliform were all discovered, described and named from our location. Given the vast area of land our region encompasses, we anticipate even more discoveries new to science will be made in the very near future.  

  3. What are your current research objectives at your site? 
    To discover more fossil remains of and carry out research on the herbivorous dinosaur bipeds called ornithopods that we know inhabited the forested riverine floodplains that bordered the inland Eromanga Sea during the Cretaceous Period around 93 million years ago. We know from their footprints, ornithopods of various sizes were important dinosaur herbivores during this period in our region, and I expect the fossil skeletal remains of new species will be preserved but have yet to be uncovered.

  4. What was most important or rewarding find at this site?
    There are many discoveries of equal importance; however, for me, the discovery of the small crocodile, (“broken crocodile, lizard killer”) is particularly astounding. The holotype individual of contains its last meal, being that of a young ornithopod dinosaur complete with bite marks from being eaten. A remarkable find.

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