MELSTONE – Montana is one of the best places in the world to dig for dinosaur bones, and if you’ve ever wanted to cross that activity off your bucket list, you’re in luck.
The bones of several dinosaurs were just recently discovered in Musselshell County.
“There’s literally stuff just falling out the hills every day here,” explained Tom Hebert with the Earth Sciences Foundation, which is leading the dig.
Roundup resident Eric Eliasson found the first one while out hunting for rocks on the property of the local rancher. He says at first he didn’t know what he was looking at.
“When I found the bones originally, I was doing a lot of Google searches,” he explained.
Those searches led him to Hebert with the Earth Sciences Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that tries to connect the average person with the anything-but-average dinosaur.
Over the past month, Hebert and a team of volunteers have unearthed the bones of more than a half dozen prehistoric creatures. That includes everything from the tooth of a T-Rex to the rib of a triceratops.
“My great, great grandkids could be still digging on this site we are at, and they’re still not going to run out of stuff,” said Hebert.
Hebert says anyone is welcome to join them on digs but first must be approved. The Earth Sciences Foundation is especially focused on connecting veterans and school groups with its research.
For veterans like James Kerekes, the work is hands-on therapy.
“I have a lot of social anxiety. You realize you’re the first person to put your hands on this stuff. That’s awesome,” Kerekes said.
“That’s one of the big focuses of the foundation is to bring paleontology out to regular people. I’m an electrician and I’m out here digging for dinosaurs,” added Eliasson.
Veterans like Sabrina Lemon also assist back in a warehouse where the foundation is temporarily storing its discoveries. Lemon and others brush and polish the bones so that they can ultimately be shared with the greater community.
“Some of us miss having a mission that has an end product, so to speak,” explained Lemon.
Most everything discovered on the dig site will end up in museums in Musselshell County.
“We want that to be the focal point, stuff that’s found here stays here because so much of the resources found here get gobbled up by larger museums,” said Hebert.
For more information about the Earth Sciences Foundation or if you would like to participate in a dig, click here.
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