About the Dinosaur Institute Department | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Paleontological preparator Karl Urhausen at work on a Edmontosaurus annectens. This skull is one of few that preserves evidence of a beak-like structure that covered the jaws.
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Dinosaur Institute Contact Information

General Inquiries


In The Field

The Dinosaur Institute team is preparing for the 2017 annual field season, the crew will spend four-weeks digging for dinosaurs in the Jurassic outcrops of Utah.

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New Dinosaur Film

Dinosaur Institute Director Luis Chiappe will be featured in a new BBC film hosted by Sir David Attenborough. 

For the project, which will air in 2016, Dr. Chiappe accompanied the famous documentary filmaker to an 80-million-year-old nesting site of some of the biggest dinosaurs on the planet.
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Behind the Scenes at the Dino Lab

Want to meet the people behind the glass? For tours of the Dino Lab, become a Member! 

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About the Dinosaur Institute

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.
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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. Learn More

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. Meet the Staff


The Dino Lab

The Dino Lab is a functioning preparation lab staffed by paleontologists from the Dinosaur Institute. People of all ages can gaze through the glass windows as fossils are cleaned, examined, and cataloged. The crew of preparators and volunteers are currently working on fossils excavated in Utah from the Jurassic-aged Morrision Formation. The lab offers Museum visitors a unique opportunity to watch paleontologists work on real fossil specimens and a rare behind-the-scenes chance to follow the steps in preparing fossils for eventual display and research. The Dino Lab is staffed and open to the public every day the Museum is open. Come by and see what we're working on right now! Learn More