Creepy Bones Animal Crossing New Horizons
Image: Nintendo Life

There are over 70 fossils to collect in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (73, by our count). Not only can you donate them to Blathers at the museum, but once they've been assessed 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

Scary Bones Animal Crossing New Horizons
Image: Nintendo Life

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Complete Fossil List

Here is the complete list of all fossils to find in Animal Crossing: New Horizons:

Fossil name
Ankylo skull
Ankylo tail
Ankylo torso
Archelon skull
Archelon tail
Brachio chest
Brachio pelvis
Brachio skull
Brachio tail
Deinony tail
Deinony torso
Dimetrodon skull
Dimetrodon torso
Dinosaur track
Diplo chest
Diplo neck
Diplo pelvis
Diplo skull
Diplo tail
Diplo tail tip
Iguanodon skull
Iguanodon tail
Iguanodon torso
Left Megalo side
Left Ptera wing
Left Quetzal wing
Mammoth skull
Mammoth torso
Megacero skull
Megacero tail
Megacero torso
Ophthalmo skull
Ophthalmo torso
Pachysaurus skull
Pachysaurus tail
Parasaur skull
Parasaur tail
Parasaur torso
Plesio body
Plesio skull
Plesio tail
Ptera Body
Quetzal torso
Right Megalo side
Right Ptera wing
Right Quetzal wing
Sabertooth skull
Sabertooth tail
Shark-tooth pattern
Spino skull
Spino tail
Spino torso
Stego skull
Stego tail
Stego torso
T. Rex skull
T. Rex tail
T. Rex torso
Tricera skull
Tricera tail
Tricera torso

Where do you find fossils?

Fossil Animal Crossing New Horizons
Image: Nintendo Life

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?

Unassessed Fossil Animal Crossing New Horizons
Nah, you're alright. — Image: Nintendo Life

Well, you could sell it immediately in its unassessed form if you wanted to, although we wouldn't recommend it. If you want to get more than a paltry 100 Bells for a fossil, you'll want to get it assessed by Blathers.

Fortunately, 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.

Bones Museum Animal Crossing New Horizons
Image: Nintendo Life

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, there's an easy way to check which fossils you've found, besides the laborious method of visiting the museum exhibits and checking which ones you have donated.

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.

For example, despite our steadfast rule of always giving Blathers the first one, we somehow failed to donate a Spino tail to our museum, which meant we had to wait until we found 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 60 consecutive days of play (from the time the game launched) 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, the latter of which we had found already and erroneously sold.

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 still worth it, even once you've completed your museum (and personal) collection.

Having completed our collection, we routinely dig up fossils and drop them outside the museum. Then, every few days we'll vacuum up the lot into our inventory, get them bulk-assessed by Blathers and sell the lot for a tidy profit. Nice.

This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bugs, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of critters leaving at the end of the month (unless you visit Kapp'n's Boat Tour islands, of course!).

We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.

If it's new content you're looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster's café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.

And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!