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Public fossil digs set for 2024

Courtesy ND Geological Survey

Registration has opened for the 2024 public fossil digs, sponsored by the North Dakota Geological Survey.

Paleontologist Clint Boyd said the fossil digs begin June 10th, at the dig site south of Dickinson.

"It's not a 'quarry site," Boyd said. "It's a site where we hike around and look for 32-million-year-old mammal fossils exposed on the surface."

The following week, it moves to the site outside Medora.

"There, we'll work on animals from just after the dinosaurs went extinct, to a lot of crocodiles, turtles and fish, and animals like that."

Boyd said the Medora site is very popular.

"Lots of fossils there," Boyd said.

Then, for the entire month of July, it’ll move to a dig site south of Bismarck along the Missouri, and it will focus on dinosaur fossils. Boyd said the fossil digs will end up in the Pembina Gorge, in early August.

"We'll be digging animals that lived at the time of the dinosaurs, but lived in the oceans," Boyd said. "Lots of mosasaurs, fish and animals like that."

And Boyd said the dig remains extremely popular.

"We offer about 500 total spots on the fossil digs each year," Boyd said. "We have an e-mail notification list, where people sign up to be notified of the dates — and there's over 2300 people on that list."