A look at a fossil’s journey

SD Mines offers behind-the-scenes tours of special laboratory

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Saturday was National Museum Day, and the South Dakota School of Mines (SD Mines) celebrated in a unique way.

Sally Shelton of the SD Mines Museum of Geology gives a behind-the-scenes tour of the James Martin Paleontology Laboratory during National Museum Day. Photo Date: Sep. 22, 2018.

Sally Shelton shows some fossils to visitors on a tour of the Paleontology Lab.

The Museum of Geology at SD Mines showed off some of the world’s most important paleontological finds – many found right here in South Dakota.

More than 150 visitors turned out for special behind-the-scene tours of the James Martin Paleontology Laboratory, which is not normally open to the public. They got to see what happens to a fossil from discovery, to preparation, and finally to study and research.

And the visitors to the laboratory also learned that South Dakotans who are interested in fossils are some of the luckiest people in the world.

“South Dakota is one of the most important places in the world for fossils,” said Sally Shelton, associate director of the Museum of Geology, and Saturday’s tour guide. “We have just a wealth of fossil resources. So, if you’re in South Dakota, you’re seeing some of the most spectacular and most important fossils in the world.”

This was the first year for the special tours, which were done in conjunction with staff from Badlands National Park and Buffalo Gap National Grassland.

The Museum of Geology plans to make the National Museum Day tours an annual event. For more information about the Museum of Geology and other events, click here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News