This Is How Many Dinosaur Fossils Have Been Found In Illinois

By Taylor Linzinmeir

August 11, 2022

Dinosaur roaring in prehistoric jungle
Photo: Getty Images

Humans' fascination with dinosaurs dates back centuries. Before the scientific designation of a group of animals called dinosaurs came sometime in the 1840s, some people believed the dinosaur fossils they found were anything from massive dragon bones to the bones of a human giant. Since then, every American state has searched their soil for dinosaur fossils —And some have come up with more than others.Plus, which state has the most dinosaur fossils.

Stacker compiled a list of the states with the most dinosaur fossil finds. They consulted the Paleobiology Database, a non-profit public resource that brings together fossil records from research institutions around the world, to make their ranking. Illinois came in at no. 31 with 31 total fossils recorded. Here's what they had to say about Illinois' dinosaur fossil finds:

The Mesozoic period, which is notorious for eroding fossils rather than actively depositing them, was not kind to Illinois despite the area being suitable for dinosaur life. The Midwest state was a warm, swampy forest at the end of the dinosaur era. Evidence of prehistoric dinosaurs roaming the Prairie State includes “Tully Monster” fossils, Indiana’s official fossil dating back 300 million years. The Paleontology Portal reports a prosperous record of Quaternary fossils found from giant animals including stag moose and beaver.

While Kentucky, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin all have no recorded dinosaur fossils, California comes in at no. 1 with 1,988 fossils.

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