Dinosaur Museum In South Dakota

See How Many Dinosaur Fossils Are In South Dakota

Dinosaur Museum | Black Hills, South Dakota

Humans fascination with dinosaurs goes back at least 2,000 years to Chinese writings describing what were thought to be massive dragon bones. In the 17th century, an English museum curator discovered a large thigh bone he posited was from a human giant. The first scientific designation of a group of animals called dinosaurs came about in the 1840s. 1993s blockbuster Jurassic Park drove our 20th-century obsession with dinosaurs into overdrive. And with each new fossil discovery and dinosaur movie release, our intrigue with these prehistoric predators only grows.

Every American state has searched its soil for dinosaur fossils, but some states have more old dinosaur bones than others. Anyone lucky enough to stumble on some is likely to strike pay dirt: The worlds most complete T. rex skeleton fetched a record-setting $31.8 million in a 2020 auction.

To determine which states have the most dinosaur fossils, Stacker consulted the Paleobiology Database, a non-profit public resource that brings together fossil records from research institutions around the world. Data is current as of May 2022. We pulled all records labeled Dinosauria and sorted them by state. It is important to note that these records do not comprehensively reflect all dinosaur fossil records in the U.S., but rather represent a sample via the fossils available in public collections.

South Dakota by the numbers

States with the most dinosaur fossils

Frequently Asked Questions :

  • Dinosaur Museum is located at: 8973 S Hwy 16, Rapid City, South Dakota 57702.

  • Want to book a hotel in South Dakota?

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  • What is the phone number of Dinosaur Museum?

    You can try to dialing this number: 342-8140 – or find more information on their website: blackhillsdinosaurmuseum.com/index.html

  • What is the opening hours of Dinosaur Museum?

    Monday: 09:00 – 20:00

  • Where are the coordinates of the Dinosaur Museum?

    Latitude: 43.9885536729 Longitude: -103.273029327

More Than Reptiles At The Dinosaur Museum

Its just a short drive down the road from Keystone, but the Dinosaur Museum in Rapid City will take you on a journey far into the past.

The Dinosaur Museum has 98 reptiles from over 60 different species housed in more than 13,000 square feet of space. Theyre presented either as a skeleton or as true-to-life models. The sheer size of some of the dinosaurs will wow your entire family, not to mention how much information youll learn about them. Each display has a plaque with details about the dinosaur, including their habitat, lifespan, and eating habits.

You can also enjoy a short educational video in the movie theater that dives deeper into the history and life cycle of dinosaurs. For a little hands-on fun, be sure to check out the fossil digs. Your family can dig through sand in search of prized dinosaur fossils, just like real-life archaeologists! They also recently added an exhibit where you can touch an authentic dinosaur leg bone, with plans to add more interactive displays and learning opportunities in the future.

Before you leave, make sure you check out the gift shop. Youll find t-shirts and memorabilia to remember the museum, and you can take home a stuffed version of your familys new favorite dinosaur.

When you visit Keystone, youll find plenty of family fun to fill an entire monumental vacation. The Dinosaur Museum is just minutes away from downtown Keystone on Highway 16, and it promises to be an educational but thrilling experience for the entire family!

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When Dinosaurs Ruled

Step back 65 million years to the time when dinosaurs ruled. Western North Dakota was a huge delta. Exotic animals, including dinosaurs, lived in this subtropical environment. A wall-size mural depicts North Dakota as it appeared during that time. See impressive life-sized casts of a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops engaged in battle. These animals are brought to life and battle through computer animation where you get to customize the design of the dinosaurs.

View fossils of plants and animals that lived in the lush environment of woodlands, swamps, and ponds, including the following:

  • Edmontosaurus leg bone with gnaw marks from Tyrannosaurus rex bites
  • A Triceratops skull
  • A flying Pteranodon and its nest with babies
  • Skeleton replicas of small Dromaeosaurus raptors
  • A Triceratops brow horn

Welcoming you in the hallway outside this gallery is Dakota, an extremely rare mummified duck-billed dinosaur Edmontosaurus.

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