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Mission Jurassic: The Site

Mission Jurassic: The Site

This fossil-rich, mile-square plot of land—The Jurassic Mile—is a place where mountains and a prehistoric seabed meet. Located in the Wyoming Badlands, The Jurassic Mile is lush with fossilized bones, plants, marine life, and trackways. The diversity of fossils gives scientists the opportunity to tell a more complete story of the Jurassic Period than ever before.

The 640-acre site is made up of four main quarries with multiple levels to explore. Nearly 600 specimens, weighing more than six tons, have already been collected in this site over the past two years of fieldwork and only a fraction of the site has been explored! Here are some of the exciting finds that have already been brought back to The Children’s Museum.

  • Bones of an 80-foot-long Brachiosaur
  • Bones of a 90-foot-long Diplodocid
  • A 6’6” Brachiosaur scapula (shoulder bone)
  • A 5’1” femur
  • Several jackets containing articulated bones

What the Experts Are Saying

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

“It’s really exciting, this slice of Jurassic time. Wyoming is being opened up by a team of international scientists in a way that has never been done before. I’m really hoping we’re seeing some things from the Jurassic that are totally new to science.”—Prof. Phil Manning

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

“I’m most excited about the fossilized plants. We don’t know much about plants from this particular time period. We know that there were no flowering plants. But we do know that we have conifers and ferns and ginkgos. And maybe these plants can give us a clue as to why these dinosaurs got so big.”—Dr. Victoria Egerton

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

“One of the things I’m particularly interested in is dinosaur tracks and dinosaur trackways because it’s not just the dead bones. It’s actually telling something that dinosaurs at that time did. They were moving in herds—gregarious behavior—or did they walk alone? How fast did they walk? What did they do? Time travel doesn’t get much better than this.”—Prof. Anne Schulp

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

“We are going out there to hope to find some exciting new dinosaurs. This part of the Morrison Formation is not as well explored as other parts of the Formation further south. So what we’re hoping to find when we go out there is some old friends, but also some new species and new genera and be the first people to uncover and describe these animals ever.“—Dr. Susannah Maidment

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

“There are not many places in the world where you can do fieldwork that you can literally step a few hundred meters and be in a completely different part of not only the time column but also completely different environments...So, we have the possibility of some real surprises.“—Prof. Paul Barrett

Mission Jurassic: The Dinos Mission Jurassic: The Exhibit Mission Jurassic: The Site Mission Jurassic: The Team