Discovering and Preserving Montana's Dinosaurs

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Credit: Great Plains Dinosaur Museum & Field Station

Montana is full of rich history, but we’re really diving into our artifacts as we’re discussing how Malta, Montana and the Judith River Formation is playing such a vital role in preserving dinosaur history.

Experts say Malta and Phillips County have always been at the heart of paleontology. It’s why they want Montana and surrounding communities to learn why their backyard is so scientifically important, why it should be protected and further studied.

This weekend the Great Plains Museum in Malta is bringing in around 20 well-known paleontologists like Dr. Phil Currie who helped found the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta. Organizers say these paleontologists are not just experts in paleontology, but they’re experts in the Judith River Formation,  the fossil-bearing geologic formation in the Malta area.

“This is our most famous dinosaur formation. When paleontologists come to work on dinosaurs here this is the rock unit that they come to work in. And it’s world renown. All these top discoveries happening here,” said Cary Woodruff, the Director of Paleontology at the Great Plains Museum in Malta, Mont.

Experts say about two years ago an "armored" dinosaur named Zuul was just found in Havre. This is just one example of why experts are saying the Judith River Formation is important for understanding dinosaurs in Montana and what was happening during that time in western North America.