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The Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals of Minnesota


Only scattered dinosaur fossils have been discovered in Minnesota, which is better known for its small, ancient marine organisms, as listed below. (See an interactive map of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals in the United States.)

1. Hadrosaurs

Dmitri Bogdanov
Despite its proximity to dinosaur-rich states like South Dakota and Nebraska, very few dinosaur fossils have been discovered in Minnesota. To date, researchers have found only the scattered, fragmented bones of an unidentified genus of hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur, that probably wandered over from further west. More about hadrosaurs

2. Small Marine Organisms

Wikimedia Commons
Minnesota has some of the oldest sediments in the United States; this state is especially rich in fossils dating from the Ordovician period, from about 500 to 450 million years ago. As you can guess, life back then wasn't very far advanced, consisting mostly of trilobites, brachiopods, and other small, shelled marine animals.

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