VIDEO: On the trail of dinosaurs in Mongolia


John Pickrell


John Pickrell

John Pickrell is the editor of Australian Geographic. He is a science writer, author, nature lover and self-confessed geek. Blog posts range over Southern Hemisphere palaeontology, dinosaurs, megafauna, archaeology, palaeoanthropology and a smattering of other topics.
By John Pickrell November 3, 2016
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In September 2016 eight Australians and ten Mongolians set out into the remote Gobi Desert to hunt for dinosaurs.

THIS YEAR’S AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC Gobi Desert Fossil Dig Scientific Expedition was a huge success, with the assorted remains of more than 30 individual dinosaurs discovered – much to the delight of everybody on the crew.

The Australian Geographic Society collaborated with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and Odyssey Travel, taking seven readers along as volunteer diggers to assist a team of Mongolian palaeontologists based at the Institute of Paleontology and Geology in Ulaanbaatar.

Finds we made included the numerous remains of small herbivorous horned dinosaurs, known as Protoceratops; Velociraptor teeth; duck-billed hadrosaurs; armoured ankylosaurs and even Cretaceous-era birds’ eggs. 

All of these fossils hailed from the 70-million-year-old deposits of the Tugrugin Shiree region of the central Gobi Desert. Here our crew of 18 camped out in a stark, beautiful and very remote stretch of desert for 10 nights.

Watch this 10-minute film about the dig to learn more!

Want to come along on our 2017 Gobi desert fossil dig? Find details here, and contact one of Odyssey’s Travel’s consultants on [email protected] or 1300 888 225.

John Pickrell is the author of Flying Dinosaurs and Weird Dinosaurs. Follow him on Twitter @john_pickrell.


Protoceratops andrewsi is one dinosaur commonly found in the Gobi Desert. (Credit: Antonin Jury)