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Fossils and tools on Mission Jurassic's Jurassic Mile with The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Returning to the Jurassic Mile

At the end of the 2019 Mission Jurassic dig season, a massive amount of fossils were loaded on a truck and made the more than 21-hour trip from our Jurassic Mile dig site in Wyoming to The Children’s Museum. Since that time, our scientists have been removing field jackets, documenting, and preparing these giant bones. They’ve also been getting used to their new home inside Dinosphere®—the R.B. Annis Jurassic Paleo Lab. But now it’s time to get back in the field and start digging again!

This Year’s Mission

Last year, our team was able to uncover parts of the skeleton of a four-legged giant of a beast—a Diplodocus. The average size of a long-necked Diplodocus (pronounced “DIP-low-DOE-cus”) was 80–90 feet long and weighed approximately 13 tons. These sauropods were huge. You can read more about them here. Our team was able to bring most of the Diplodocus tail and other parts of its skeleton to the museum, but had to leave other parts behind to brave the winter.

Dr. Jenn Anne with a Diplodocus fossil at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

This year, our scientists’ mission—and they’ve chosen to accept it—is to collect as much of the remaining Diplodocus as they can so fossil preparation of the new Dinosphere® expansion can continue.

Digging for dinos in the age of coronavirus

Things are different this year as our Mission Jurassic team has returned to Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. A few things had to change due to the arrival of a certain global pandemic. Here are a few notable differences compared to last year’s dig:

  • Our partners from Europe—including Prof. Phil Manning and Elli Lilly and Company Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Victoria Egerton—will not be participating in-person at this year’s dig. A smaller team means they will be able to properly social distance more easily.
  • The 2020 dig timeline is significantly shorter. Last year, several teams came in and out of the Jurassic Mile over the course of approximately 10 weeks. Our Mission Jurassic team will be in Wyoming for five weeks.

Digging at the Mission Jurassic dig site in Wyoming
Lead Paleontologist Dr. Jennifer Anné at the Jurassic Mile in 2019

There’s a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time. We’re excited to share the exciting discoveries that our Mission Jurassic team will make during this intense, focused, five-week dig. Stay tuned to our blog and to our weekly Mission Jurassic Monday updates on Facebook. Because something big...VERY big...is happening!


Mission Jurassic is a $27.5-million project that will be brought to life through the generosity of donors. Donate now on our website, or for extraordinary naming opportunities check out our Mission Jurassic Field Guide or contact Amy Kwas at 317-334-4608 or AKwas@childrensmuseum.org.

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