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Dinosaurs in Minnesota

By August 11, 2011

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Diplodocus and Stegosaurus at the Science Museum of MinnesotaMinnesota, despite being one of the most ancient states, geologically speaking, is actually seriously lacking in dinosaur fossils. Paleontologists know that nearby Nebraska and South Dakota both have notable fossil beds, but Minnesota took too much abuse from glaciers between dinosaur times and the present day, which obliterated any dinosaur fossils which were created here.

The only dinosaur fossils found in Minnesota? The scattered remains of a hadrosaur, a herbivorous, duck-billed dinosaur.

Minnesota is better known for even more ancient fossils, primitive sea creatures who lived in the ocean which covered Minnesota a half-billion years ago. Snails, trilobites, sea stars and brachiopods are common fossils to find in Minnesota, if you look in the right kind of rock. A notable hunting ground is St. Paul's Lilydale Park.

And, more recent fossils from the age of megafauna, creatures such as mammoths, mastodons, and sabre tooth cats, have been discovered in southern Minnesota.

The most reliable place to see dinosaurs and other ancient creatures is at the Science Museum of Minnesota, which has plenty of big, famous dinosaurs, like Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Diplodocus, as well as local Mammoth remains, and lots of other scary and fascinating paleontological exhibits.

The Bell Museum of Natural History has a much smaller collection of extinct animals, but does have a huge mammoth tusk which visitors are allowed to handle.

Barring teeny sea creatures, the human history of Minnesota is much more interesting than the ancient history. The land which is now Minnesota has been inhabited for millennia, and even urban St. Paul has places to experience history dating back thousands of years. Here's a list of historic places in St. Paul.

What about the rest of America? Here's an interactive map of dinosaurs across the US. As you may guess, most all of the other states have more dinosaurs than us. But, what does that matter? And remember that the Science Museum of Minnesota is one of the best in the nation.

Diplodocus and Stegosaurus at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Photo Clara James

May 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm
(1) the guy that ran over your face says:

there were lots of dinos in western mn even the retarded t-rex lived there t-rex was dum it had tiny useless arms and it was not tall enough to get a good neck bite on my favorite dinosaur my favorite dinosaur was the biggest preditor of all time its name is SPINOSAURUS it was twice as big as t-rex t-rex don’t stand a chance although it had a good bite force its head was terribly misplaced and spinosaurus didn’t just eat fish dummies in fact t-rex would have jump super high in order to get its neck so I hope I proved to idiots who don’t know t-rex sucks I bet carcharodontosaurus could kill t-rex and giganotosaurus and plus t-rex was a scavenger so spinosaurus wins

August 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm
(2) Hotshot says:

Spinosaurus was a bit bigger than T-Rex and the T-Rex is much smarter than thought of, in fact not “retarded” at all. And hardly a scavenger, it was most likely an apex predator. Maybe you shouldn’t judge creatures that you don’t know.

August 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm
(3) Hotshot says:

Spinosaurus was a bit bigger than T-Rex and the T-Rex is much more intelligent than thought of, in fact, it is not “retarted” at all. And not much of a scavenger at all, the T-Rex was most likely an apex predator. Maybe you shouldn’t judge creatures you don’t know.

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