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Montana Dinosaur Center
Bynum, MT

What to Bring:

The weather in this part of Montana can be very changeable. Whether you are going out for a half-day or multiple days, please be prepared with:

  • Long pants

  • Sunscreen

  • Wide-brimmed hat

  • Bug spray

  • Sunglasses

  • Camera

  • Snacks

  • Close toed shoes

  • Extra snacks

  • Car seats for children under age 6

  • Your enthusiasm!

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Fossils found:   
Maiasaura, Daspletosaurus,  Einiosaurus, Scolosaurus and Bambiraptor 
Period: Cretaceous
Formation: Two Medicine

Full-day digs of 1 or more days

  • 9am-4pm

  • $225 per day

 

Join The Montana Dinosaur Center for one day or one week and help us to excavate dinosaur fossils from a prolific dinosaur bonebed in the Two Medicine Formation. Unlike other dig locations, this is an active excavation and you are guaranteed to find and dig up dinosaurs. All our prticipants are an integral part of the team, as you help us to find and dig up dinosaurs, working right alongside research professionals and staff. All participants will be involved in our current excavation which involves at least four different species of dinosaurs that lived about 75 million years ago. Join us for one day or more for a truly hands-on experience. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even unearth a new species of your own!

 

We provide all the tools you need to dig up dinosaur bones. There is no experience required on digs at The Montana Dinosaur Center and we accept participants of all ages. The day starts at 9am at The Montana Dinosaur Center, where you’ll be driven to the day’s location. You’ll learn about the local and geologic history on the way and once we arrive out in the field, that’s when the fun really begins. We’ll teach you all the techniques and tricks of the trade such as current paleontology principles, fossil excavation techniques, jacketing and transporting fossils safely. You’ll also learn how to properly record and document the finds you make.

What's Included

  • All tools, equipment and training are provided

  • Transportation to and from the dig site

  • Lunch and beverages

 

No accommodations are provided in the cost. However, the small town of Choteau nearby has a pleasant hotel and a campground.

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Cory Coverdell
Executive Director
Montana Dinosaur Center

  1. What makes your site significant?
    The bonebed in which we are working is so full of bones that we are calling it "The graveyard." Because there are so many bones of so many species in one place, it will allow us to learn what dinosaurs were here and the ecosystems that they lived in. We've only been working this site since 2021, but we already know that there will be decades of work to be done here

  2. What has been most surprising about your discoveries at this location?
    The amount and diversity of species at this site is truly amazing. This is an unusually dense bonebed with a lot of bones all concentrated in one space. It's extremely surprising to find multiple species in this one locale. Most bonebeds have one or two species, but so far, we've found 4!

  3. What are your current research objectives at your site? 
    Once we excavate the dinosaur fossils, it helps us understand a lot of the context about their life and death. First, we want to find what species of animals we have here and what kind of environment they lived in. By studying the fossils, we can even ascertain where and how they died. Did they die in place or were they transported there? All this information allows us to understand how these animals fit into the history of the late Cretaceous.

  4. What was most important or rewarding find at this site?
    We have found so many cool things at this site already and we know there is more to come, since we've just started working here. Sometimes you come across bones that cannot be identified. At this site, we've already found bones with diagnostic features that allow us to identify the genus or species. 

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.

Click here to donate to Montana Dinosaur Center

Description:

 

One of the most important dinosaur sites in the United States, The Montana Dinosaur Center sits within the abundant fossil-bearing area of the Two Medicine Formation. It was here that the very first dinosaur nests, eggs and baby dinosaurs in the western hemisphere were first discovered, which transformed the way paleontologists thought about how dinosaurs cared for and reared their offspring.

 

Twenty-six new species (and counting) have been discovered in the are near the Montana Dinosaur Center. The first being Montana’s state dinosaur: Maisaura or “good mother lizard,” so named from the dinosaur bones and nesting area found in 1978.

In 2020, a new bonebed with the fossilized remains of dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurs, Duckbilled dinosaurs and Armored dinosaurs was discovered, and dig participants today will take part in the excavation and scientific research at this site.

 

The Montana Dinosaur Center is a museum with professional staff that clean and prepare your discoveries. Fossils from the digs become part of their permanent collection, which already includes the very first nesting baby dinosaur discovered in the world and the world's longest dinosaur, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records—a skeletal model display of a 137-foot long Seismosaurus.

What to Expect:

 

Expeditions at The Montana Dinosaur Center are perfect for families and are designed to make the best use of the time you are spending with us. There are two different expeditions available—a half-day site visit or full-day excavations—so there’s something for everyone!

Half-day Expedition

  • 9am-noon

  • $110

 

For a taste of what it’s like to be a paleontologist. This is a site tour only and does not involve any digging, but you will see plenty of dinosaur bones! we teach you about how we find dinosaurs, recognize dinosaurs, how we look for dinosaurs. Site tour and you get to see dinos in the ground. You are guaranteed to see bones. You don't have to get your handsdirty. Maybe for people passing through from one park to the other...See an actual bonebed and what bones looks like before they are excavated. 

What's Included

  • Site tour

  • Transportation to and from the dig site

  • Water

2022 Dates
All programs run daily from 
June-August
Space is limited to 10 participants per session

Half-day site tour
$110

Participation is subject to availability and is at the full discretion of the dig location. Prices and dates dates subject to change. 

All Ages
Minors must be  accompanied
by parents

Full-day expeditions
$225/day

Clicking the above link will take you directly to this dig's page. Participation is subject to availability and is at the full discretion of the dig location. Prices and dates dates subject to change.