Paleontology

 

 

The demise of the dinosaurs and the changes in local paleoenvironments are just a couple of areas in which the Paleontology Department has been researching over the past decade.  This research is conducted in the rugged landscapes along the Little Missouri Badlands drainages in southwestern North Dakota.

The Badlands in the area represent the last geographical times from the Cretaceous Period, which was home to the dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles and extinct exotic plants.  Research teams associated with the museum have been working in these ancient environments collecting fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants to try to reconstruct what was present here million years ago.  As a result of these studies, clues are emerging as to how the plants and animals were interacting, how abundant they were and what the area was like when the meteor impact occurred on the Yucatan Peninsula at Chicxulub wiping out the dinosaurs.

The fossil remains of these plants and animals are brought back to our museum where they are curated and studied.  Some of these specimens are on display in the museum depicting the results of our findings.  Research results have been published by museum staff and other collaborators in the leading scientific journals.

The museum also studies, collects and curates vertebrates, invertebrates and plants from 73 million years old marine deposits up to the youngest deposits of the area, which are 28 million years old.  Some of the animals that have been found are mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, dinosaurs and early mammals that include camels, rhinoceroses, horses, and giant pigs.The demise of the dinosaurs and the changes in local paleoenvironments are just a couple of areas in which the Paleontology Department has been researching over the past decade.  This research is conducted in the rugged landscapes along the Little Missouri Badlands drainages in southwestern North Dakota.

 

 

THERE WILL BE NO PUBLIC PALEONTOLOGY DAY TOURS IN 2015

 

Museum Winter Hours

Monday - Friday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

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