Anyone can find a dinosaur fossil. I did, and so can you. The purpose of this site is to share details of what has worked for me in the hopes it may help you find your dinosaur.
When I started this adventure I found a little “What to do” information but very little detailed “How to do” information. I was on my own. Everything I now know I learned from someone else or through making mistakes. I only wish I knew at the start, what I know now. I wanted to give any beginner a leg up and keep them from repeating my mistakes. This is not a rigorous technical site, and you will read of better ways to do what I describe here. This is just the story of what I do: practical ways and means for the amateur.
If you have field experience, please teach the rest of us what you have learned. Critique this site and add your comments. I would love to share your field advice and experience with readers. There is just so much to learn.
I am not a professional paleontologist, whose skill and knowledge I respect. I’m just a guy who loves to hike and find fossils. I read that it was a rare event for a dinosaur carcass to be covered with sediments and preserved in a way that over time create a fossil. But when I multiply this “one in a million” occurrence times the number of species that roamed the earth and for millions of years, I figured the chances were good that if I hiked on the right age land exposures, I might find a dinosaur fossil.
I only search on private land and with permission. Many landowners see a piece of fossil as just another rock and ignore them. But, I step in and rescue them from continuing to designate into gravel and then into dust. Otherwise, they would never be discovered and remain of no value to anyone.
I have had modest success as an amateur and have been able to discover and preserve over 150 dinosaur fossil bones. At my two best sites I uncovered 60 bones of a sub-adult Triceratops and 20 bones of an adult Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) or T-Rex in this site (See Galleries 14, 15 and 16). Recovered bones are colored in the images below:
Yes, You Can!
Anyone can find a dinosaur. It just takes a lot of work and practice. When I share my experiences with others some say, ”Oh, I could never do that.” But of course they could. They just never tried, or no one every showed them how. To paraphrase a noted motivational speaker Denis Waitley……
“It is not what you can do that holds you back…it is what you think can not!”
I want you to believe that you can do this. Don’t give up too quickly because you tried and failed at something in the past. Yes life happens, but you are still in the drivers seat. Where do you want to go? Set up a new goal just out of reach, but not out of sight. Steel your mind to it and go. In weeks, months or years you will find yourself somewhere you had thought was impossible
…..perhaps even in the middle of the prairie finding a dinosaur.