Finding and excavating dinosaurs in Montana has come a long way in the last century. Explorer Ferdinand Hayden found and reported some of the first dinosaur fragments exploring western waterways around 1855. This material was reported and noticed by archenemies E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh and it wasn’t long before Montana was recognized as a paleontological hotbed by the most noted of fossil hunters.
Early explorers had more on their plate than just finding dinosaurs. Raiding war parties were a constant threat. Digging and moving bones by horseback, biting insects, and extreme elements made dinosaur collecting a game of sheer survival. The determination of risk takers like Cope, Charles Sternberg, and Barnum Brown brought many “first” specimens to the forefront of paleontology. One such “first” is the 1902 specimen of T. rex found by Barnum Brown near Jordan, MT.