digging for fossils

Explore North Dakota Paleontology

Experience North Dakota's prehistoric past on a fossil dig and at our Jurassic museums.

North Dakota is home to one of the best fossil records of Cretaceous Period dinosaurs in the world. It is estimated that more than 600 species of dinosaurs have been found in the state, including some of the most iconic, such as Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Ankylosaurus. In addition to dinosaurs, the state has also provided important fossil records of mammals, turtles, fish, shark teeth, and more.

Millions of years before North Dakota was a state, prehistoric creatures lived out their legendary existence here. Today, visitors can explore fossil-bearing sites ranging in age from 30 years to 73 million years. Literally get your hands dirty excavating prehistoric sites through an education vacation and fossil dig. One-day and week-long adventures are available.

cleaning area for fossils

This year's fossil digs can be found here

Visitors preferring to see this Jurassic history rather than finding it first-hand will delight in the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum and its amazing fossils.

Heritage Center Museum fossil

Dickinson Museum Center and Pioneer Trails Regional Museum in Bowman are two more must-see places for dinosaur fans.

Check out North Dakota's other dynamic dinosaur museums

Additional information on the prehistoric history of North Dakota is available through the state's Geological Survey.