The Dinosaur Institute team recently returned from a three-week dinosaur dig in the Jurassic outcrops of Utah.
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The Dinosaur Institute (DI) houses the Museum's collection of Mesozoic tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates), dating from 250 million years ago to 65.5 million years ago. This collection includes fossils of dinosaurs spanning the Mesozoic Era, as well as fossils of other tetrapods that lived alongside the dinosaurs, such as flying and marine reptiles, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and early mammals.
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The fossils in our collection have been acquired over nearly a century, and the collection continues to expand rapidly through the Dinosaur Institute's very active field program. The DI runs expeditions several times a year to collect fossils from Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and right here in California. We also participate in international field programs, most recently in China, Kazakhstan, and Argentina. Learn more >
The DI staff provides mentorship in paleontology for a diverse group of people, from volunteers and docents to undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows. A wide range of research is conducted here at the Museum by both staff and visiting researchers, from examining different aspects of the evolution of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals to investigations into their diversity, genealogical relationships, ecology, and life history. Meet the staff >
The Dino Lab is a functioning preparation lab staffed by paleontologists from the Dinosaur Institute. People of all ages can gaze through the glass windows as fossils are cleaned, examined, and cataloged. The crew of preparators and volunteers are currently working on fossils excavated in Utah from the Jurassic-aged Morrision Formation. The lab offers Museum visitors a unique opportunity to watch paleontologists work on real fossil specimens and a rare behind-the-scenes chance to follow the steps in preparing fossils for eventual display and research. The Dino Lab is staffed and open to the public every day the Museum is open. Come by and see what we're working on right now! Learn more >