Since the excavation in 2009, Terris has also made another significant discovery with the Alf Museum team, he says. Just last summer, Terris joined the group in southwest Montana and came across the first articulated skeleton of a small squirrel-like mammal.
Don Lofgren, director of the Alf Museum, wrote in a blog post that no one has made such a discovery in more than 100 years of collecting at the famous site of Pipestone Springs, about 20 miles southeast of Butte, Mont.
When looking for fossils, Terris says patience, persistence, and an interest in paleontology are helpful, as many early discoveries can be incomplete.
"I've just always found prehistorical life to be interesting," Terris says. "And the simple reason that dinosaurs are kind of awesome."