There are over 70 fossils to collect in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (73, by our count - we're missing just one and we've got 72 in our catalog - more on that later). Not only can you donate them to Blathers at the museum, but once accessed they are also good source of Bells.
Therefore, it's definitely worth your time digging them up. In this Animal Crossing: New Horizons fossil guide you'll find everything you need to know about dino bones and fossils, from the basics of digging them up to a complete list of fossils available in the game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fossil guide
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Complete Fossil List
Here is the complete list of all fossils to find in Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
|Diplo tail tip|
|Left Megalo side|
|Left Ptera wing|
|Left Quetzal wing|
|Right Megalo side|
|Right Ptera wing|
|Right Quetzal wing|
|T. Rex skull|
|T. Rex tail|
|T. Rex torso|
Where do you find fossils?
As you run around your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you're sure to come across little 'X' marks on the ground. Dig these up with your shovel and nine times out of ten you'll find a fossil (that is, unless it's Bunny Day, in which case it's likely to be a blasted egg!). You can also find them on Nook Miles Mystery Tour Islands or dig them up on your Best Friends' islands and bring them home with you (assuming you have your friends' permission).
Four or five new fossils can be dug up on your island everyday (some say four, but we've definitely taken five to Blathers for assessment - although it's possible that we dug up one that wasn't 'new' that day).
I've dug up a blue fossil - what do I do now?
Well, you could sell it immediately in its unassessed form if you wanted to, although we wouldn't recommend it. No, if you want to get more than a paltry 100 Bells for a fossil, you'll want to get it accessed.
Fortunately, Blathers (the owl at the museum) is not only a knowledgeable ichthyologist and entomologist, but also an expert in the field of palaeontology. Simply ask him to assess your fossils and he'll identify them for you. Pro tip! Wait until you've dug up a batch of fossils and get them all assessed at the same time to avoid unnecessary blathering from the lovable, long-winded owl.
Once the fossils are assessed, you have three options. You can donate them to the museum, sell them to Timmy and Tommy at Nook's Cranny for a good price, or keep the pieces and assemble your own displays at home or around your island.
Fossils come as single pieces or part of a set. For example, the Coprolite is an individual fossil, whereas the Brachiosaurus is made up of four separate fossils (the Brachio chest, Brachio pelvis, Brachio skull and Brachio tail). Each one comes with its own mount for display, and can really pep up a dull kitchen or bathroom, provided you've got the space to house them.
How do I know which fossils I've already found?
We recommend donating the first of every fossil you find to Blathers - that way you'll fill up your museum quickly. However, besides the laborious method of visiting the museum exhibits and checking which ones you have donated, there's an easier way to check which fossils you've found.
Head to Resident Services and use the Nook Stop terminal inside. Select 'Nook Shopping' and you'll be able to view all the fossils you've ever found in a list. Confusingly, they're listed in the Wallpaper and Floorings section, but they're all there:
However, this is for reference only - you'll notice that you are not able to buy any fossils from Nook. It's also important to remember that any fossil you've ever had in your inventory will appear here whether you donated it or not.
So, despite our steadfast rule of always giving Blathers the first one, we somehow failed to donate a Spino tail to our museum, which means we'll have to wait until we find another one. Doh!
How long does it take to collect all the fossils in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
It depends how much you play. After over 60 consecutive days of play (since launch) and over 250 fossil assessments (you earn Nook Miles by completing the Fossil Assessment achievement), we were missing only two fossils - a left Ptera wing and that Spino tail which we had found and erroneously sold, if you're interested.
However, it can take a long time to track down that elusive final fossil, so be prepared to find a whole bunch of 'duplicates' before completing your museum. Fortunately, once assessed and identified they sell for good money (between 1000 - 6000 Bells), so digging them up is arguably still worth it, even once you've completed your museum (and personal) collection.
This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which covers How To Fish with Complete Fish List and How To Catch Bugs with Complete Bug List. If you're looking for specific fish we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Stringfish and Golden Trout, along with a list of Fish And Bugs leaving at the end of May and Best Custom Design Codes we've found so far. We can also help with How To Make Bells Fast, How To Get An Axe, using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, How To Cut Down And Move Trees, How To Upgrade Nook's Cranny and How To Get More DIY Recipes.
And finally Where To Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons On Nintendo Switch if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game.