Finding and excavating dinosaurs in Montana has come a long way in the last century. Ferdinand Hayden (under John Wesley Powell) found and reported some of the first dinosaur fragments exploring western waterways around 1855. This material was noticed by arch enemies E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh and it wasn’t long before Montana was recognized as a paleontological hotbed by the most noted of fossil hunters.
Early explorers had more on their plate than just finding dinosaurs. Raiding war parties were a constant threat. Digging and moving bones by horseback, biting insects, and extreme elements made dinosaur collecting a game of sheer survival. The determination of risk takers like Cope, Charles Sternberg, and Barnum Brown brought many “first” specimens to the forefront of paleontology. One such “first” is the 1902 specimen of T. rex found by Barnum Brown near Jordan, MT.
JRDI and team members have been privileged to discover many “firsts” too. You can click on the tabs to read about what makes Elvis, Peanut, Leonardo or Rosie unique among Montana’s dinosaurs. Though we don’t dodge angry war parties, or use horses and dynamite, we have a strong team of people to thank for these dinosaurs’ discovery, excavation and preparation. Some 99% of the greatest dinosaur discoveries made are by amateurs with sharp eyes and a love for the science—not educated noblemen. JRDI continues that tradition…