Mission Jurassic excavation

Stories from the dig

Project summary

  • Focus: Excavation of a rich Late Jurassic assemblage in the Morrison Formation of North America.
  • Date: Begins June 2019

We are part of an international team excavating a substantial assemblage of Late Jurassic fossils in Wyoming, USA.

The Museum is a collaborator in the Mission: Jurassic project. Led by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, this excavation is investigating a 2.6 kilometre square site in northern Wyoming.

The site contains rocks from the Morrison Formation, dating to the Late Jurassic, and also outcrops from the earlier Sundance Formation. Preliminary work on the site has uncovered articulated and semi-articulated dinosaur fossils, associated animal and plant fossils and dinosaur trackways.

The site offers an opportunity to build a picture of a Late Jurassic ecosystem, by unearthing not only dinosaurs but the diversity of life that surrounded them.

Our aims for the project are to:

  • Find new material of previously described species.
  • Find new species of dinosaurs and the animals and plants that lived around them.
  • Investigate if the dinosaurs in the northern range of the Morrison Formation are different from those commonly found in its southern part.

Palaeontology collections

Discover the geographic and stratigraphic coverage of our vertebrate, invertebrate and plant fossil collections.