Tourists Get Chances to Dig Out Dinosaur Bones

Can you dig it?

For $150, you too can take part in a dinosaur dig at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. The program lets tourists grab a brush and unearth real dinosaur bones, just like a paleontologist.

One recent participant in the dig was Evelyn Callahan of New Jersey. Callahan says her husband told her that if she didn't dig up any dinosaur bones, she should just buy them at the gift shop. But Callahan didn't have to do that.

Her face lit up as she brushed dirt off the tip of a dinosaur bone.

"You definitely found that one yourself," summer intern Victoria Helmke told her.

"Yes!" exclaimed Callahan.

• Click here to visit's Evolution & Paleontology Center.

Callahan, 63, said she always has been interested in fossils.

With her was her sister, Emily Bell, 65, of Massachusetts. They came well prepared, bringing insect- and sun-repellent clothing, knee pads and knowledge from books about dinosaur digs. They helped find an apatosaur vertebra and various pieces of ribs.

Dinosaur species found at the site include diplodocus, apatosaur, barosaur, allosaur, camarasaur and possibly stegosaur, some by people in the Dig for a Day program.

People who don't want to shovel out $150 for the dig program can tour the dig site and the nearby museum, which has a 15-foot-tall supersaur spanning 106 feet across the museum.

A 40-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex and 25-foot-long Triceratops also are on display.

Matthew Bichlmeier, 7, was wearing a blue T-rex T-shirt.

"I think I loved seeing the T-rex," he said.

Most of the complete 20-plus dinosaur skeletons are casts, but two real skeletons are at the museum: a triceratops and the only albertoceratops on display in the world.

[The museum also displays the Thermopolis Specimen, one of the finest Archaeopteryx fossils in the world.]

"It's never too late," Callahan said of her dinosaur dig. "You just add it to your list in your mind and eventually you get to do it."