Dig Site near Snakewater, Montana (C/N)

Disambiguation Links – Digsite near Snakewater Montana (S/F)

Located in the badlands of northern Montana near Snakewater and a two hour drive (roughly 110 miles) from Choteau, the dig site was headed by Dr. Alan Grant, and was an important location for dinosaur nests, particularly Hadrosaurs. The area had once been the lush Laramidia side of the Western Interior Seaway, which separated Laramidia of western North America from Appalachia in the east during the Cretaceous period. However, after 65 million years, the now limestone rock was barren of plant life, and the only natural shade provided was from the rolling hills and occasional whiff of cloud. The camp at the dig site consisted of six Blackfoot tipis (due to the fact that they were sturdier than regular tents and the area had once been Blackfoot territory), a mess tent, and a mobile trailer that acted as a field laboratory. In the field, Dr. Grant utilized the typical dental picks, paint brushes, jackhammers, a portable generator, and shovels that most paleontologists used in excavation in the field, as well as a machine that Dr. Grant’s team had designated as “Thumper” that used CAST technology to produce an X-ray image of the fossil being excavated. Dr. Grant’s team had been excavating the area for fossils each summer since 1978, and had found an number of important discoveries on infant dinosaurs by 1989. It was in 1979 that this area produced Dr. Grant’s first clutch of dinosaur eggs, and the subsequent findings over the next two years from then which Dr. Grant had published in 1983 made Alan Grant an instant celebrity practically over night. From 1984 onward, the dig site was funded by the Hammond Foundation. In return, Dr. Grant also supplied occasional consultation to another company also owned by John Hammond called InGen Inc. Just before Dr. Grant and Ellie Sattler were called to Isla Nublar by Hammond, Dr. Grant had uncovered an incredibly rare find: a miraculously preserved skeleton of an infant Velociraptor, the first infant carnivore skeleton Dr. Grant had ever uncovered and the first evidence for predator activity in the area that Dr. Grant’s team had found in two years. Unfortunately, Dr. Grant was only able to prepare the team for the perimeter trench of the excavation of the skeleton before he had to leave and was unable to finish his excavation of the skeleton at that time.