A "dig" is a gathering of scientists, students and volunteers at a location which might contain fossils.
A dig might sound like the simple act of digging with a shovel and pulling out cool-looking bones, it's isn't! A dig is a carefully planned exploration of a site. Fossils are very fragile and the position in which they are discovered can give clues to their identity.
Extremely detailed maps, photographs and plans are used to help scientists organize their search. The key to a successful dig is careful, methodical examination of every bit of a site. Sometimes the most important fossils are as small as a fingernail!
Diggers use a wide variety of tools both big and small to clear away soil and rocks that might contain specimens. The removed material is often passed through a screen and re-examined.
As fossils are removed, scientists sketch, photograph and write reports about what they've found. If all goes as planned, the entire site can be reconstructed at a museum or university for further studies.