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Fall Dino Trip to the Hell Creek Fm

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I try to get out dinosaur collecting twice a year and this year has been very good to me.    Here are some quick field shots of SOME of my finds for this fall.  I have a big prep job in front of we but I also use someone in Hill City to do some of my complicated work.  Sites are in Montana and South Dakota all from the Hell Creek Formation.  My Spring trip post have more specifics on the localities.


My best find of the trip occurred on day 3 in Montana a complete dentary (lower jaw) with teeth of a Ceratopsian most likely Triceratops sp.   The field photo show the jaw with lots of matrix around it to protect the sheath and teeth..  The jaw layed perfectly for me with teeth side up and flat so it made collecting easy.


Here is an initial look at the jaw.  The bone area in the middle is actually a sheath that is covering battery of teeth.




Not all the teeth are covered by the sheath those in the far right are exposed and you can see the center ridge poking out, red circles.   Prepping will expose them.




Length 25" (65 cm)

sorry did not brush it clean before the photo




In addition to the one above I found two Hadrosaur jaws in SD from an Edmontosaurus.  Both jaws are laying vertically, teeth side in against the wall.  Typically they do not have teeth but until the prep is complete hard to say.   One was from a Juvie about 20" (19 cm) and the other from a very young animal +13" (33 cm) which is pretty rare for this site.


My initial view of the larger one was to expose the ascending ramus ( hinge) 





Here is the small jaw - preservation of the hinge area was not good but needed to collect it because of size.  No teeth present.



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Here are some of my teeth finds

Tyrannosaurus rex teeth:

1 1/2" Small Plug - Anterior dentary tooth






Tiny 3/8"





Largest 1 1/2"



largest 1"




Real cool find a Nano tooth with a Y carina.  Have not seen this very often, much more typical on Trex or Older tyrannosaurids.  This tooth is 1 1/4"



Edmontosaurus teeth



Found a few Ceratopsian (trike) spitters, sorry no photos

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Here is a juvie Humerus from an Edmontosaurus about 13" long (33cm)


Initial look





Undercut ready for jacket






Also picked up a couple of Metatarsals

Sorry just have a field photo of one 






Only one foot ungual on this trip from a juvie Edmontosaur about 3 1/2" Long (9 cm)




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All these are from an Edmontosaurus


A huge side toe bone 




Juvie Toe bone




A caudal vertebra - very complete

Initial view the neural spine




A hand Ungual the largest I've ever found



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I know that an Adult Edmontosaurs is the largest Dinosaur in the Hell Creek but have never seen a chevron this large


Initial look



Kept going into the wall, very happy when I saw the end.



Wow found 3 calcaneum (ankle bones) only 2 in the past 25 years.



Some very complete distal caudal vertebrae




Bunch of vertebrae - centrums and some with processes.



Champsosaurus vertebrae



Rooted Croc tooth



Garfish vertebra





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Not mine but here is a large jacketed Ilium with a big tibia beside it




views from the sites.





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The Amateur Paleontologist

Amazing finds, Frank! Always love reading your field trip reports.

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Great variety of discoveries, a rich outcrop ! And the quality of the bones is fantastic. :envy:

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Wow Frank, those are some awesome finds. Great work and congrats on a excellent trip :)


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Wow Frank that would be my dream trip. 

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Great finds! Thanks for the pics! I guess this year has been good for you. Congratulations on some outstanding finds!

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:envy: someday I’ll get a chance ......amazing finds!!!

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Awesome finds and great time lapse pics . Thanks for taking the time with so many photos, for those of us that have never experienced a true did.

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dinosaur man

Amazing finds wow!! :)

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Very droolworthy @Troodon, thanks for sharing the pictures and congratulations on reaping some impressive rewards for your endeavors.  One day I hope to get the opportunity to do a dino dig

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What an incredible mix of dinosaurian finds!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to see that first Ceratopsian dentary prepped out :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:


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Thanks for the chance to vicariously enjoy your finds.  :drool:  Finding any one of those fossils would be a fantastic experience, to get them all in one season must have been like a dream.



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Congratulations. It appears your quest for good dinosaur material has been especially fruitful this year. Some awesome specimens you have there. I appreciate your sharing of your experiences and finds. Also, love to see them after they're prepped. Thanks.

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12 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

Thanks for the chance to vicariously enjoy your finds.  :drool:  Finding any one of those fossils would be a fantastic experience, to get them all in one season must have been like a dream.



Thanks, It's always a dream to be able to collect and feel very fortunate to be able to do so. The above fossils were just in the fall trip so it was a very good year.

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