Red Dead Redemption 2 features some absolutely cracking side-quests and collectibles. None more so than its map-spanning hunt for dinosaur bones.
Part of the “A Test of Faith” side-quest (which can be started in Chapter 2) there are 30 dinosaur bones to collect in total.
With so many to collect, this is undoubtedly one of the more time-consuming optional missions in the entire game. However, conscientious explorers won’t want to pass up the opportunity as successfully locating each and every one of these pre-historic artifacts is a prerequisite for obtaining a 100% completion rating and the game’s platinum trophy.
So, to help you on your quest to become the best paleontologist in the old west, we’ve compiled this succinct written guide detailing the exact location of each and every dinosaur bone in the entire game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Dinosaur Bones – Locations
About halfway along the railway line heading east from Flatneck Station, near the top of a hill to the north.
The bone in question looks like a giant rib cage, and so stands out quite dramatically from the surrounding area.
Travel north a little way from the location of the first dinosaur bone and, below a rocky outcrop between the road to the south and the “Heartlands” map annotation, you’ll find the second fossil.
It’s much harder to spot than the first as it’s embedded in a patch of similarly-coloured earth.
Our advice is to carefully scan the ground below the cliff face (near to a few scraggly bushes) with Arthur’s Eagle Eye ability activated. Something that’s going to become a bit of a recurring theme as we progress through the list.
A little west of number two, beneath an isolated oil platform just south of the “A” and “R” in the “Heartlands” map annotation, you’ll find the third dinosaur bone.
You’ll need to descend the ladder to find it.
We’re already a tenth of the way to our goal. Only 27 to go…
Number four can be found between Dewberry Creek and a stretch of railway to the north, below a tiny shelf of rock.
Look for three small boulders. You should find another section of rib cage sticking out of the ground close by.
The next fossil lies south of the last; directly below the “L” in the “Lemoyne” map annotation, near the end of what appears to be a dried-up pond.
Like number four, number five resembles another section of rib cage.
Hmm. I’m beginning to think this creature was rather large in life.
You’ll have to travel further north to find the next dinosaur bone on your list. Specifically, to the area slightly north of the “O” in “New Hanover”.
Look for an isolated cabin hidden amongst a loose collection of trees: the dinosaur bone you seek is located in a clear patch of scrubland just opposite the southeast side of the building.
Don’t be shy about using Arthur’s Eagle Eye if you’re struggling to spot it in the dirt.
On the western bank of the Kamassa River immediately above the “I” in the “River” half of the map annotation.
You’ll have to scramble a bit to reach this one, as it’s embedded in a terrace of rock halfway down a reasonably large mountain.
Still, it’s white colouring sticks out against the grey rocks as you approach it, which makes locating its exact position that much easier.
The best way to find number eight, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere, is to head southeast from the final “R” in the “New Hanover” map annotation, stopping in a woodland clearing about halfway between here and the Van Horn Trading Post.
Around this area, a single large bone can be found lying between a few trees in a small clearing.
Spotting it from a distance can be tricky, so you might need Arthur’s Eagle Eye ability once again.
The best way to find number nine is to trace a line heading east from the first “O” and “A” of the “Roanoke Ridge” map annotation.
Follow this line until you reach the midpoint between the first two roads you come across and, eventually, you’ll find dinosaur bone number nine sitting perilously close to the edge of a large cliff.
This one’s pretty easy to spot, by virtue of the fact it’s located atop a conspicuous, rocky outcrop.
Riding east of the “O” in the “Ambarino“ map annotation, you’ll eventually see said outcrop amidst a handful of trees, next to a dirt track.
The tenth shard of bone rests on the flat surface on one of these rocks.
Once again, we find ourselves in the vicinity of the “Ambarino“ map marker.
This time, head north of the letter “O” and cross the nearby railway line. Before you reach the road is a hill decorated with numerous wild flowers, at the top of which (and behind a small bush) is the eleventh dinosaur bone.
Located near the summit of a rather steep mountain range west of O’Creagh’s Run, south and a little to the west of the second “S” in “Grizzlies East”, number twelve can be very difficult to reach, let alone locate.
The simplest way to your goal is to head up a path northeast of the bone’s actual location, veering off to the left as soon as you see a patch of grass climbing up the side of the rock (you should see a small bush at the highest point of this little rise).
Surmount this and follow a second path leading downward from here until you see a pyramid-shaped rock, flanked by two thin trees, overlooking the lands below. On top of this incongruous rock formation is the twelfth fossil.
Thankfully, number thirteen is much easier to find.
Look west and a fraction south of the “I” in “Ambarino” and there, leaning against a rocky cliff face at the top of a short hill, you’ll find a large hand-shaped fossil.
Activate Eagle Eye if you’re struggling to separate it from the terrain.
Find Bacchus Station on the map.
Head south from the “S” in “Station” until you reach a shelf of rock surrounded by half a dozen or so pine trees. Lying neatly on the top of this shelf, marked by a smaller perpendicular rock that looks a bit like a large headstone, is the next artefact on your list.
The halfway point on your quest to become the world’s first cowboy archaeologist begins at Cotorra Springs (the same place you’ll have hunted/will one day hunt the Legendary Wolf).
Journey south from here, stopping just shy of the north bank of the Dakota River. The fifteenth dinosaur bone lies on a small, unassuming shelf of rock that forms part of the mountain overlooking the river valley. It might take a little bit of patience to find, even with Eagle Eye activated.
But that’s part of the fun, right?
Cross the Dakota River once you’ve found bone number fifteen and head southwest towards the “C” of the “Cumberland Forest” annotation.
Continue a couple of in-game miles due south of this point until you reach a hill looking down on a large gorge. The artefact can be found half-buried in a patch of dirt at the edge of this hill.
Follow the course of the river south from this point, heading west once you reach Chadwick Farm.
Cross the river and continue travelling south a little bit farther until you reach the bend heading west. Turn northwards from here until you come across a vertical cliff face surrounded by a group of trees.
Another, much smaller skeletal hand can be found embedded in the chalk-coloured rocks just in front of this cliff. It’s very hard to spot, however. So, you’ll almost certainly need Eagle Eye to locate it.
The next bone is on the opposite bank of the river.
As you approach the wilderness that lies south and slightly west of this position, you should see a large, isolated hill. Climb this and, at the summit, facing the railway bridge, you’ll find a small collection of bones buried in the earth.
Continuing on our southward journey along the Dakota River is another, much larger bend. This one heading in an easterly direction (almost curving back on itself).
Open the map here and, just north of this bend, you should see two parallel roads heading northeast. You’ll notice the southern-most of these two roads curves upwards ever so slightly at its western edge.
Now head north from this point, stopping roughly halfway between the two roads and, embedded in a small cliff, is another hand-shaped fossil.
Describing the location of this dinosaur bone with words alone is a bit of a challenge, but here goes.
Ride southwest from Wallace Station, heading vaguely in the direction of the railway to the north. Amidst this relatively hilly country you’ll find a small cave, inside and to the back of which is the 20th dinosaur bone.
There are no such problems describing the location of number 21.
Travel to the Big Valley region in the western corner of the map, aiming for the middle ground between the “W” and “E” in the “Western Elizabeth” map annotation.
Lying, seemingly undisturbed, in the middle of a dirt track near the top of the mountain range that marks this location, facing the valley below, you’ll find yet another section of rib cage.
We remain in the Big Valley region for number 22. An area directly south of the “M” in “Beryl’s Dream” (just below the “Big Valley” annotation), to be exact.
The fossil itself is hiding in plain sight on top of a shelf of rock overlooking the valley below; right next to a meandering mountain path.
Number 23 (on this list; I’ve not suddenly decided to start talking about that weird Jim Carrey film), can be found in the vicinity of Hennigan’s Stead. A tad south of the first “E” and “N” in “Hennigan’s”.
The bones in question rests within a rather picturesque canyon, just beneath a small, near-vertical cliff face. It blends in fairly well with the terrain, so, once again, we’d advise using Arthur’s Eagle Eye ability.
Directly south of this point, on the northern bank of the San Luis River (past Greenhollow and opposite a small oblong island), yet another section of rib cage can be found on the cliffs overlooking the river.
Its exact location is just behind a group of cacti you’ll notice as you approach the river.
Ride a few miles west of the San Luis River and look in the area right next to the “K” of “Rio Del Lobo Rock”.
Climb the mountain and, near the summit, you’ll find an unusually-shaped bone buried in the ochre-coloured earth.
Keep heading west from the Rio Del Lobo Rock until you reach the Rio Bravo. Open your map and set a waypoint a few millimetres south of the “B” in the corresponding annotation.
The vaguely antler-shaped bones can be found lying on top of the cliffs overlooking the river to the south.
Number 27 also lies in New Austin. Specifically, at the highest point of the nearby desert between the “A” and “U” of “Austin” (to the south of Jorge’s Gap).
The fossil you’re looking for is buried in a flat expanse of desert in this area, surrounded by a handful of cacti. Be warned: it’s very hard to spot without Eagle Eye active.
In the northern reaches of New Austin.
A larger and more complete arm/leg bone is embedded in the arid, rocky terrain a short journey west of Rattlesnake Hollow.
Like number 27 before it, 28 is much easier to find with Eagle Eye, due to the fact it blends in so effectively with the surrounding rocks.
The penultimate Jurassic artefact (presumably) is located south of the “L” in “Tumbleweed” – at the western edge of New Austin.
See the wind turbine? Head past that in a vaguely southerly direction toward the line of nearby shrubbery and cacti. You’ll find the next-to-last fossil buried in the ground to the right of a small undulation of earth.
Bringing our palaeontological odyssey to an end, dinosaur bone number 30 is located between the “D” and “G” of the “Gaptooth Ridge” map marker, atop a hilly expanse of desert.
Activate Eagle Eye and wander around the empty spaces between the parched grasses and lonely cacti until you see the tell-tale yellow shimmer of a hidden dinosaur bone.
You should now have all 30 dinosaur bones in your possession; or the location of them at the very least.
The final step is to send them (via the nearest post office) to the original quest giver, Deborah MacGuiness. A response will arrive 24 in-game hours later complete with a couple of rewards and an invitation to her cabin.
Accept this gracious invitation and your quest is complete. Congratulations! Mary Anning and every other 19th century palaeontologist would be proud.
We hope our Red Dead Redemption 2 Dinosaur Bones guide helped you! Whatever you need, we’ve got a bunch of other guides to Rockstar’s latest Western adventure that will get you well on your way to achieving that coveted 100% completion rating. Take a look below.