Museum of Geology
Dinosaur fossils, gold nuggets and much more!
Travel back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs— visit the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City!
As visitors enter the Museum, the huge tusks of a mighty mammoth reach out from the wall and overlook the museum. Fascinating dioramas depict prehistoric animal life in the White River Badlands. No finer exhibit of Badlands fossils exists anywhere in the world! Fossils on display in this section include skeletons of Oligocene saber- toothed cats, a three- toed horse, small camels, and a mother oreodont.
Museum visitors also journey back in time to the Age of Reptiles. Sea life at the end of the dinosaur age was dominated by plesiosaurs and mosasaurs, which were giant, large- toothed marine reptiles. Skeletons from the Late Cretaceous period on display include the long- necked plesiosaur and the mosasaur, a ferocious meat- eating sea lizard that was “ king of the beasts” in the prehistoric seas that once covered central North America.
The skeleton of a duck- billed dinosaur, standing about 15 feet tall, overlooks the far end of the Museum. Nearby visitors can touch the legbone of an actual dinosaur. Other displays, which are just a small sample of the Museum’s extensive fossil collection, include a Triceratops skull, tracks made by dinosaurs, and the skull of a giant alligator— to name just a few!
Millions of people have enjoyed the Jurassic Park movie versions of Tyrannosaurus rex and other dinosaurs. The Museum of Geology features real Jurassic era dinosaur fossils, including the skull of a T rex, the giant carnivore that roamed the lands of prehistoric South Dakota.
For individuals whose appetite for paleontology is whetted by their visit, the Museum’s summer paleo field digs provide great opportunities to obtain authentic field experiences searching for and excavating fossils. The Museum’s faculty are actively engaged in identifying prehistoric life to help provide a better perspective for understanding that of present and future animals, as well as humans. Check with a Museum staff member for specific information about the summer paleontology program.
The Museum’s extensive rock and mineral collection is particularly fascinating to rock- hounds. Displays include gold samples, agates, meteorites, fluorescent minerals, fossil plants, marine invertebrates and other items collected from around the world and the Black Hills.
The Museum is free and open to the public seven days a week all year except holidays. To contact the Museum, call ( 605) 394- 2467 or toll- free, 1- 800- 544- 8162, ext. 2467.
Change photo caption to read: The Museum of Geology features many outstanding fossils of giant reptiles and dinosaurs.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.