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HISTORY & PREHISTORY

Montana Dinosaur Activities

Digging dinos near Choteau

If you're planning to visit Montana and you want to include some dinosaur activities on your trip here are some cool places and events:

Billings Gem & Mineral Annual Show offers a silent auction and special events for kids. The exhibits feature special displays by local club members and dealers. The displays exhibit outstanding collections of Gems and Minerals, Fossils, Artifacts, hand crafted jewelry and cut and polished gem material.

Museum of the Rockies

There’s always something new to see at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University-Bozeman. You’ll travel through 4 billion years of Earth’s history beginning in the geology hall, Landforms/Lifeforms. Your next stop is One Day 80 Million Years Ago, a recreation of the dinosaur nesting colonies discovered by Jack Horner, the Museum’s Curator of Paleontology. Travel on through exhibits about Montana’s Native Americans and the state’s recent history. And don’t miss the world-class Taylor Planetarium for a new perspective on Montana’s Big Sky. During the summer, visit a living history farm and see what life was like a century ago on a Montana homestead. And each summer, the Museum features a new exhibit.

Carter County Museum in Ekalaka houses some of the finest paleontological discoveries in the United States; as well as numerous artifacts depicting the lives of Native Americans and the early settlers of Carter County. Seventy-five million years ago Carter County was the home of many various species of dinosaurs and their contemporaries living in and along the marshes that bordered the retreating Pierre Sea, which had covered much of eastern Montana. Today their remains are being retrieved from the shale and sands where they were entombed. Among the paleontological finds, housed within the Museum, are a mounted skeleton of an Anatosaurus copei (duckbill, Hadrosaur), complete skulls of Triceratops horridus (three horns), Pachycephalosaurus wyomingenisi (dome head), and a Nannotyrannus lancensis (tiny Tyrannosaur), all collected in local exposures of the Hell Creek cretaceous formation.

Dino Skull at Old Trail Museum

Choteau’s The Old Trail Museum reflects the rich natural and cultural history of Montana's pristine Rocky Mountain Front region. Explore fossils, dinosaurs, Native American artifacts, grizzly bears, and the diverse and colorful local history. Don't miss "Dinosaurs of the Two Medicine", the Old Trail Museum's paleontology gallery! Take a walking tour of the world famous paleontological site, Egg Mountain. Reservations required.

Makoshika State Park near Glendive is named after the Lakota phrase meaning bad land or bad spirits. Today the badlands of Makoshika are set aside for visitors to see and enjoy. In addition to the pine and juniper studded badlands formations, the park also houses the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as tyrannosaurus and triceratops. A Visitor Information Center at the park entrance houses a triceratops skull and other badlands interpretive displays.

Dino Passport

Exploring Harlotown’s Upper Musselshell Museum is rather like prowling around in someone’s attic or barn, but be prepared to discover a full-sized replica of a dinosaur skeleton found in nearby Shawmut! There are also several collections of fossils and bones, and a 2,000 year-old buffalo skull. This two-story limestone building, constructed in 1909, is filled with treasures that belong to the people who lived in, worked and developed the Upper Musselshell River country.

Phillips County Museum is the heart of Missouri River Country in Malta and on the Lewis and Clark Trail. The purpose of the museum is to preserve the natural, historic and cultural heritage of the Phillips County region for others to enjoy. Historical exhibits included are mining, Native Americans, dinosaurs, outlaws and farm/ranch/homestead items. There are photographs, books and notebooks pertaining to the area plus newspapers from the 1890’s through 1980 containing local historical information. Our real-life dinosaur collection features: the three-dimensional original skeleton of "Elvis", a brachylophosaurus, named for its "pristine pelvis" and measuring 33 feet long; a complete T-Rex skull, and an upright, full size Albertosaurus, which is a sub-species of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Albertosaurus were the main prey of the Brachylophosaurs. An added attraction is the interactive display of a 700-pound Apatosaurus femur. Guests are allowed to have their picture taken with the Apatosaurus femur which will tower over most youngsters. In addition, many other displays of paleontologic fossils are available for viewing.

Dinosaur Field Station Malta

No trip through Montana is complete without a tour of the new Dinosaur Field Station in Malta, an actual dinosaur preparation station on the edge of the western frontier. Watch scientists as they work on incredibly well-preserved dinosaurs of northeastern Montana, such as "Leonardo", a rare dinosaur mummy listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "best preserved dinosaur ever discovered." The Dinosaur Field Station also offers lectures, educational programs and a unique gift store with a variety of special gifts and souvenirs for all ages. The gift shop offers everything from choice one-of-a-kind items such as locally made Montana sapphire jewelry to books, puzzles, puppets and exclusive "Leonardo" momentos and clothing.

Here are some folks who can help you plan your Montana Dinosaur Adventure:

Two Medicine Dinosaur Center offers programs designed to allow participants to work beside actual research professionals and staff. Such interaction allows participants to learn current principles and techniques of fossil preservation, leading to better reporting and documentation of fossil discoveries. All programs require advance registration.

Judith River Dinosaur Institute invites you to join the Phillips County Museum's staff paleontologist Nate Murphy and crew this summer as they endeavor to unlock the secrets of the prehistoric past of northeastern Montana. Enjoy learning about exciting science of dinosaur paleontology. The Judith River Dinosaur Institute's five-day field programs are targeted at the serious amateur and educator. WARNING! This is no paleo-dude ranch. The five-day programs are all hands on and very educational. Come be a part of the crew and have fun, as we make new and ground breaking discoveries in the field of dinosaur paleontology under the big sky of Montana.

Digging dinos

Join PaleoWorld Research Foundation’s (PWRF) resident paleontologist, Joseph Hatcher, in his dinosaur research expedition in the Badlands of eastern Montana where you could take part in the discovery of a lifetime! The expedition searches for 65 million-year-old dinosaurs in a fossil-rich area known as the Hell Creek Formation located near the small town of Jordan, Montana that many call the "Dinosaur Capital of the World". During past expeditions, fossils of the three-horned Triceratops, the duck-billed Hadrosaur, and the ferocious Tyranosaurus rex have been found. Unlike many paleontological expeditions that allow only scholars to take part, PWRF promotes the concept of "real science for real people" and encourages the involvement of everyone who has an interest in dinosaurs, no matter their age, background or experience. It is a wonderful opportunity for families, children, students, and adults to take part in a truly unique, educational, and fun dinosaur adventure! Make no mistake about it; our program is NOT a tour. Our expedition offers a true 100% hands-on experience to all participants. Upon joining the expedition, you become a PWRF "associate researcher" and you are given the opportunity to learn about and take part in actual field techniques used to find, collect, and preserve dinosaur fossils.

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