• Building the future of Mongolian paleontology


The Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in the United States, and a Mongolian nonprofit organization of the same name. We were founded in Mongolia in 2007 by paleontologist Bolortsetseg Minjin and became a registered US nonprofit in 2016.

Our Mission

To strengthen geoscience education in Mongolia, conserve Mongolia's fossil heritage, promote Mongolian paleontology, and edify the next generation of Mongolian paleontologists.

Protoceratops: a Frill, a Beak… and an Attitude

Protoceratops was hungry. A stocky plant-eater the size of a sheep with wide, strong feet, and a frill on the back of its head, it used its parrot-like beak to shear tough plants in a wash between sand dunes. It was not alone.

Surveying at Bulgan Sum

It was late March, after a great snowstorm, and the morning sun was shining in the clear blue sky of Bulgan sum. The ISMD team was ready to head to the Flaming Cliffs – except for one person, me.

The Frozen Cliffs

After travelling across an ocean, waiting for the snowstorm to pass, and wondering if we’d make it to the Flaming Cliffs at all, we felt we’d achieved something monumental just getting here.

Welcome to Bulgan Sum

When we finally arrived in Bulgan Sum it was late afternoon and the town center’s modest buildings cast long shadows across its snow-covered streets. Cows and dogs wandered past our cars as we unloaded our luggage.