The Dinosaur Institute (DI) houses the museum's collection of Mesozoic tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates), dating from 250 million years ago to 65.5 million years ago. This collection includes fossils of dinosaurs spanning the Mesozoic Era, as well as fossils of other tetrapods that lived alongside the dinosaurs, such as flying and marine reptiles, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and early mammals.
The fossils in our collection have been acquired over nearly a century, and the collection continues to expand rapidly through the Dinosaur Institute's very active field program. The DI runs expeditions several times a year to collect fossils from Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. We also participate in international field programs, most recently in China, South Africa and Argentina.
- Early Evolution of Dinosaurs - Antarctica, Climate Change
- Middle and Late Triassic Marine Reptiles; Ichthyosaurs from Nevada
- Early Jurassic Dinosaur Trackways of California, Aztec Sandstone
- Late Jurassic Morrison Formation Tetrapods - Micro and Macro Environments of Fruita, CO and the Gnatalie Quarry, Utah.
- T. rex Growth Series, and other Holotypes from Hell Creek Formation, Montana
- Late Cretaceous Marine Reptiles from California
- Kansas Seaway, Late Cretaceous Marion C. Bonner Collection - Platecarpus timpanicus
- Mid 20th Century California and Early Paleontological Expeditions of CIT
- NHM Early Expeditions 1960’s - 70’s
The DI staff provides mentorship in paleontology for a diverse group of people, from volunteers and docents to undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows. A wide range of research is conducted here at the museum by both staff and visiting researchers, from examining different aspects of the evolution of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals to investigations into their diversity, genealogical relationships, ecology, and life history.