Skip to content

Marmarth Research Foundation: In the Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota

Marmarth Research Foundation

In the Hell Creek formation of North Dakota

MRF Newswire

New short film and website (January 2, 2017)

Dr. Tyler Lyson and MRF (styled "the real Jurassic Park") featured in short film Valley of the Last Dinosaurs by MEL Films. Also check out the interactive website at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

MRF releases 2016 field work location (January 6, 2016)

We had our most productive year in 2015. During the last two weeks of fieldwork alone we discovered 28 partial dinosaur skeletons (see photos). In 2016 we plan to return to this incredibly rich area to collect many of these skeletons.

MRF builds dining hall, modern lecture center (January 4, 2016)

In 2015 with the help of several generous MRF volunteers we added an addition onto the MRF lab house. The addition includes a remodel of the kitchen, a large common room, and a full bathroom. This new room, conveniently located by the laboratory, will be used as our dining hall and lecture room, and will be equipped with WiFi that volunteers can use to stay in touch with the rest of the world.

Photos of the lab addition

Dakota at North Dakota Heritage Center (January 4, 2016)

“Dakota” the mummified hadrosaur dinosaur that was found by Dr. Tyler Lyson in 1999 and collected by MRF volunteers in 2004 is now on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

Making of North America Nova Series (January 4, 2016)

Dr. Tyler Lyson was involved in the Nova/PBS three part series “Making North America". The series is hosted by Kirk Johnson, who explores how the continent was shaped—and how it shaped us. It aired November 2015 and is available to buy on DVD.

Check it out at PBS...

Anzu wyliei, the 'chicken' from Hell (Creek), captivates the world (March 26, 2014)

A new dinosaur, crested and probably feathered, is described by MRF founder Tyler Lyson, et al. More at NPR and BBC.

Animation: Turtle Girdle Evolution (January 5, 2014)

A new animation has been published based on the work of Dr. Tyler Lyson of the Smithsonian Institution. Watch it here. It shows how the bone at the front and center of the turtle shell is derived from paired shoulder girdle bones (cleithra, blue). More information about this research can be found in a 2013 article by Tyler Lyson et al.

Animation: How the turtle got its shell (January 5, 2014)

Don't ask Rudyard Kipling. Ask MRF Director Tyler Lyson. A new animation shows the evolution of the turtle shell based on developmental and fossil data and work by Dr. Lyson. The animation shows how various fossils, particularly Eunotosaurus and Odontochelys, bridge the morphological gap between a generalized animal body plan to the highly modified body plan found in living turtles. There is also a cool illustrated version. More information on this research can be found in a 2013 article by Dr. Lyson et al.

"The Day the Mesozoic Died" New Documentary (January 3, 2014)

The Marmarth Research Foundation worked with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute on a documentary entitled "The Day the Mesozoic Died", which detailed the scientific process behind figuring out what killed the dinosaurs. Free copies of the DVD can be ordered here.

Watch the full interview with Tyler Lyson.

"How the Earth Works - Asteroid Armageddon" Documentary now online (January 3, 2014)

Dr. Tyler Lyson and the Marmarth Research Foundation worked with the Science Channel on their series entitled "How the Earth Works - Asteroid Armageddon." Watch the full documentary... [The stream is not currently available outside the US. It may be possible to view it using a video proxy plugin.]

Award from the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa (January 2, 2014)

MRF Director, Dr. Tyler Lyson, wins the 2012 Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa's Harrismith Mug for "Best Presentation" with his presentation on the evolutionary origin of the turtle shell.

Congressional Night at the Smithsonian (January 2, 2014)

Dr. Tyler Lyson was invited to participate in "Congressional Night at the Smithsonian." Members of the United States Congress, staffers, and their families visited the Smithsonian Institution to learn what the scientists were studying.

For Dakota Paleontologist, It All Started With a Turtle (October 29, 2012)

MARMARTH, N.D. — It is not uncommon for young girls and boys to ask their parents for a pet turtle. But how many children collect dead ones?

That was the passion Tyler Lyson developed while growing up in this hamlet of 140 people on the edge of the badlands of southwestern North Dakota — not out of some morbid fascination, but as a happy consequence of an inborn entrepreneurial spirit and of being raised near one of the richest fossil beds in North America.

Read the full story at The New York Times...

New laboratory construction (January 6, 2010)

MRF has built a new field laboratory. See photos...

Dakota traveled to Japan (July 12, 2009)

After much preparation, Dakota traveled to Japan and was showcased in the world's largest dinosaur exhibit entitled, Dinosaur Expo 2009, The Miracle of Deserts. The expo included material from Japan, China, Mongolia, Egypt, and the US.

Tyler Lyson, his parents, and John Hoganson traveled to Japan in July for the opening ceremonies. Tyler gave a 15 minute presentation on the discovery of Dakota. See photos...

Watch a Marmarth Research Foundation interview on the Bismarck television station KXMB (August 18, 2008)

Watch a Marmarth Research Foundation interview on the Bismarck television station KXMB

CNN's Young People Who Rock interviews Tyler Lyson (April 26, 2008)

Watch Tyler Lyson's interview on CNN's Young People Who Rock.

(December 3, 2007)

Dakota the "dinomummy" makes front cover of the Washington Post

MRF featured in National Geographic documentary (December 2, 2007)

National Geographic documentary Dino Autopsy aired December 9th on the National Geographic Channel. Listen as Paleontologist Tyler Lyson talks about his discovery of a large plant-eating dinosaur with fossilized skin and soft tissue still intact.

Exploring the Dinosaur "Mummy"

$10,000 Cultural Heritage Grant approved by the State Historical Society of North Dakota (November 10, 2007)

A Cultural Heritage Grant was approved for $10,000 to help return a historic house back to Marmarth to be used as a local Natural History Museum. The generous grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota will be used to pour a foundation and move the building 30 miles from Bowman, ND to Marmarth ND. The building is a historic building that used to be the Marmarth Hospital in the 1930's. The house was moved to Bowman ND in the 1980's and is now being donated to the MRF and the Marmarth Historical Society by a local doctor. Plans are underway to move the house back to Marmarth in the late Fall or early Spring of 2008/2009. The future museum will be located on the corner between Highway 12 and Main Street.

Tyler Lyson, Emma Schachner, and Doug Hanks presented their research at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Austin, TX. (October 18, 2007)

Tyler Lyson, Emma Schachner, and Doug Hanks each authored a poster at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Austin Texas. Tyler Lyson presented a poster on some of the research he has been doing on baenid turtles from the Turtle Graveyard. His poster was entitled "Variation, growth, and alpha taxonomy of baenid turtles: Insights from a Late Cretaceous death assemblage." The poster was very successful and Tyler hopes to publish on some of his findings soon.

Emma Schachner, Doug Hanks, and Tyler Lyson presented on a dinosaur that was found by a school group in 2001. Emma conducted the research and made the beautiful illustrations for the poster. The title of the poster was "A preliminary report of a new specimen of Chirostenotes (Oviraptorosauria: Theropoda) from the Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota." The poster was very successful, attracting a number of scientists, one of whom would like to collaborate with her on the project.

Doug Hanks, John Hoganson, Brett Woodward, and Tyler Lyson presented a poster on techniques for collecting large field jackets. Doug was not able to attend the meeting. Volunteer Al Flemming, who helped with the collecting of the specimens, manned the poster and fielded numerous questions. The title of the poster was "Mega Movers: Enormous field jackets."

Overall the meeting was very productive. The staff and volunteers who attended the meeting were able to inform numerous people of MRF's activities. Dissemination of such information is critical to the expansion of a new institution, such as MRF, because it encourages scientists and the general public to visit MRF's collection or join a field expedition.

Dinomummy (October 15, 2007)

Tyler Lyson, Marmarth Research Foundation President, and Dr. Phil Manning have authored a children's book, published by Kingfisher Publications, on a mummified dinosaur found by Tyler Lyson and that will be published later this fall. The book is entitled Dinomummy: The Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek.

International Reading Association (October 14, 2007)

Tyler Lyson was invited to talk about his work with MRF and his upcoming book, Dinomummy: The life, death, and discovery of Dakota, a dinosaur from Hell Creek. He talked for 15 minutes in front of around 70 teachers. Louis Lowry was the other invited speaker.

Slope County Pledges $20,000 to help build a local museum (October 12, 2007)

The Slope County Commissioners have pledged $20,000 to be used towards building a Natural History Museum in Marmarth North Dakota.

Featured Newspaper Stories (October 11, 2007)

The Marmarth Research Foundation was featured in The New York Times and Fox News.

Palatobaena cohen
Turtle Graveyard Excavation, 2006
Hell Creek Formation

Learn more about this

Palatobaena cohen
Discover the Field Laboratory
<em>Palatobaena</em> skull

<em>Palatobaena</em> skull silouhette Palatobaena skull
Turtle Graveyard

Marmarth Research Foundation

P.O. Box 5
Marmarth, ND 58643

Phone: (610) 937-7916
(June-Aug): (701) 279-6601