Dinosaurs haven’t been around for millions of years, but we’re still finding new information on them now and then. Scientists and researchers are still digging deep into their fossils and any clues that shed more light on life in prehistoric times. Usually, you can find fossils in the sedimentary rocks formed near the rivers.
Some rocks are buried underground and require deep excavation, while some are hidden under a thin layer of dirt. Sometimes, when a landslide occurs, these rocks reveal themselves.
Let’s take a look at the best dinosaur fossils found to date. These sites show us where the dinosaurs lived in different periods.
Alberta, Canada, is home to the best-preserved armored dinosaur fossil. Borealopelta Markmitchelli was a Nodosaur species (an Ankylosaur type), and this fossil is believed to be from the Lower Cretaceous period, about 110 million years ago. Interestingly, this was a chance discovery in 2011 by a mining excavator operator Shawn Funk. This fossil, 18 feet tall and weighing about 1,134 kg, is now in the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alberta.
The town of Drumheller also has the largest dinosaur sculpture globally, 86 feet tall T. rex, along with another major attraction, the Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drumheller is also called the “Dinosaur Capital of the World” for these many reasons.
Montana, United States
Montana is home to one of the most famous dinosaur fossils in the world, the Hell Creek Formation. If you’re willing to do some digging, you can find remains of the ancient beasts there. Bear in mind that it’s illegal to collect any fossils you discover unless you have a special permit. If you’re interested in being part of a fossil-hunting expedition, the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute offers them.
The rocks in Hell Creek date back to the Cretaceous Period. The fossils consist of dinosaurs, plants, and many cretaceous animals. You can find fossils of dinosaurs like Theropods, Ornithopods, Ankylosaurs, Ceratopsians, and Pachycephalosaurs. Some rock formations contain high levels of iridium which points to the asteroid strike that led to the K-Pg extinction event.
Colorado-Utah Border, United States
The Dinosaur National Monument is a huge protected land located on the northern state border of Colorado and Utah and home to over 1,500 fossils of dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, Sauropods, and Abydosaurus. You can see most of these fossils at the Dinosaur Quarry in Utah. You can also participate in other fun activities like hiking, horseback riding, and rafting in the Monument. No matter where you are, you’ll enjoy good views of the scenic place, including the Tilted Rocks driving trail.
If you’re interested in studying the apex predator Allosaurus, head to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Utah. It is home to over 12,000 bones and one of the largest concentrations of Jurassic dinosaur fossils on earth.
Gobi Desert, China, and Mongolia
The Gobi Desert is a cold desert in East Asia home to a huge collection of dinosaur fossils, including their eggs. You can see most of these fossils in the northwest part of the desert in Mongolia in the Flaming Cliffs. Much of the desert’s landscape is rock-strewn, making it easier for paleontologists to find amazing fossils. The American Museum of Natural History led the first exploration in this area in 1920, but its main purpose was searching for early humans to support the “Out of Asia” theory.
What the museum’s director Roy Chapman Andrews and his team found instead were the incredible fossils of prehistoric creatures. Since then, some of the popular fossils found in the Gobi Desert are of Oviraptors, Tyrannosaurs, Protoceratops, and Velociraptors.
Jurassic Coast, United Kingdom
The Jurassic Coast in the United Kingdom gets its name from the Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era. This UNESCO World Heritage Site spans 95 miles of coastline and contains many ancient rocks and cliffs. It’s also a great tourist destination due to its amazing landscapes, like the Durdle Door. As an amateur fossil hunter, you can visit Charmouth for some fun. The Natural History Museum of London displays some fossils found on the Jurassic Coast.