Field Collecting

We have collected at numerous sites in North America for different fossil remains. Below are a few examples of these sites and some fossils at our Museum were collected from them!

This is a photo of a raptor tooth still in the ground before it was removed.

Dinosaur Collecting

We have collected in the South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana areas of the central part of the states. Our most interesting collecting is the study and research of the many dinosaur bones at our site in South Dakota--which we have been going to for over 23 years!

We mostly find the remains of the duckbilled dinosaur Edmontosaurus annectens. This huge dinosaur was up to 45 feet long and lived in large herds. We not only collect adult dinosaur bones, but we also find juvenile and sub adult bones, indicating that these large animals probably traveled in large family herds. We also find traces of other dinosaurs including ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, raptors, and teeth from the lizard king, Tyrannosaurus rex!

Shark Teeth Collecting  

Collecting from all over the eastern part of the country, sharks teeth have been collected from the old Texas Gulf quarry in North Carolina, and along the coasts and sites from New Jersey to Southern Florida.

Fish Collecting

Some of the most interesting fish sites have been collected from the Devonian sites in Pennsylvania, to the Eocene sites of Wyoming.

A panoramic view of our dinosaur collecting site in South Dakota.

Mammal Collecting in Iowa

This is a very interesting site in the state of Iowa where we find the remains of Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. They are remnants of a very different life, with remains of giant beaver, mammoth and mastodon, camel, giant ground sloth, bison, peccary, dire wolves, and so many other different kinds of animals from that time.

Trilobite Collecting

Trilobites can be collected at hundreds of sites around the United States. Western New York is a prime area for collecting. Two miles south of us is The Penn Dixie site where you can dig fantastic fossils for a small fee. Here you can find assorted brachiopods, cephalopods, fish, and trilobites like the Phacops rana and Greenops boothi. Several quarries in Southern Ontario, Canada, have been great for collecting Devonian trilobites of many species.

This is a tiny Eurypterus remipes, about 1/2 inch long and is complete!

Eurypterid Collecting One of my favorite types of specimens to collect, I have spent many trips looking for Euypterids. In the Buffalo, NY area and Southern Ontario, I have found numerous specimens.

Mammal and Turtle Collecting

In the badlands of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska, we have collected specimens that were preserved during the Oligocene. Included in these finds are oreodont, camel, dog, and even a couple of species of sabre tooth cats. Land turtles and small skeletons of rabbits and other life can be found. We have one turtle in our museum that is almost 21″ long. This is a land turtle called Stylemys nebraskensis. In addition to it’s size, it also has the remains of most of its feet!

Fossil Leaf Collecting

From many areas around the United States, Pennsylvanian ferns from Pennslvania, and Eocene leaves from Colorado are two locations I need to mention. I also collect fossil Cretaceous leaves when we collect dinosaur material in South Dakota. We find deciduous and coniferous leaves, pine cones and seeds at this site. Their delicate beauty makes these fantastic fossils to collect and study.


*It should be noted that many collecting sites are private property and that the collecting laws are different in each state. Always ask permission and find out the regulation in each state before collecting, and wear appropriate clothing for collecting sites.

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