One of the best parts of the new Animal Crossing game is the expansive museum run by the bug-hating owl, Blathers.
Each day, and with each passing month, you’ll have the chance to net new bugs for the collection, catch all of the fish in the game, and collect all of the fossils.
To start with, you’ll need to complete a few tasks to get the museum on your island, but after that, you’ll be able to collect every item on the New Horizons fossil checklist (found towards the bottom of this article).
Once you’ve collected them, you can put them up in the museum, sell them for a good amount of Bells, or put up colossal dinosaur skeletons in and around your home.
So, first things first: opening Blathers’ museum.
How to unlock the museum and get a shovel
You’ll embark on your journey of opening up your island’s museum early on in the game, with Tom Nook asking you to collect five specimens of fauna.
These can be fish or insects, for which you use the net (made out of five tree branches) or the fishing rod (also made out of five branches) to catch the creatures.
Once you’ve delivered five species to Tom Nook, he’ll ask you put down a tent for Blathers to use when they arrive.
A day later, the owl arrives with another task for you. Now, Blathers wants you to scoop up 15 more finds, which can be bugs, fish, or fossils.
To help you with this new assignment, Blathers gives you the recipes for crafting a Vaulting Pole and the Flimsy Shovel. You’ll find that you need both to maximise your daily fossil haul.
Once you’ve given 15 new specimens to Blathers, he’ll announce that renovations are underway to open a proper museum building.
During this time (one day), you won’t be able to donate any more of your catches or finds. If you have a house by this point – which you get after giving Tom Nook 5,000 Nook Miles and agreeing to his next capitalist scheme – you can store them there.
Or, if you’ve loaded up on fossils, you can dig a hole and then put an item in the hole by selecting the option on the item from within your inventory.
Now, the museum is open, and you can enjoy giving Blathers specimens in bulk instead of one at a time.
How to find fossils in New Horizons
To find all of the fossils on your island each day, for the most part, you’ll only need the Vaulting Pole and a Flimsy Shovel. While they break quite quickly when used to farm iron nuggets from rocks, the Flimsy Shovel actually holds up rather well when used for digging.
Each fossil is found in the X- mark on the floor, which you can see below:
To dig out the fossil, all you need to do is stand over the X-mark, equip your shovel by pressing left or right on the d-pad, face the X-mark, and then press A. You’ll dig up a fossil every time.
You can find these fossil-hiding X-marks on the grass of your island every day, so be sure to use the Vaulting Pole to access all areas and dig them all up.
Fossils are completely randomised each day, so you don’t have to worry about certain fossils only appearing in certain seasons. You could dig up any fossil at any time.
You can also find a glimmer dig spot on the floor each day. If you dig where the sparkle is, you’ll find 1,000 Bells.
If you use your collected Nook Miles to visit Mystery Islands, as detailed in this guide, you can find at least two more fossil digs on each island that you visit. However, each Nook Miles Ticket costs 2,000 Nook Miles to purchase.
How to donate fossils to Blathers in the museum
Once the museum is established, and you can start donating more items at once to Blathers, the method of donating fossils changes slightly.
- First, you need to enter the museum and talk to Blathers (A). If it’s during the daytime, you’ll wake them up as owls are nocturnal.
- Next, assuming that you have fossils in your inventory, you need to ask Blathers to ‘Assess fossils.’
- In your inventory, select all of the fossils – depicted by the purple rock with a white ammonoid shell – by pressing A on them, and then press + to confirm.
- Now, Blathers will assess them, tell you that you have found some rare fossils, and that they’d like you to donate them to put on display in the museum.
- At this point, you’ll be returned to the conversation menu and will be able to go into the ‘Make a donation’ section to donate the fossils to Blathers’ museum.
- Using the same process as before, you select all of the fossils which you want to be put on show in the museum and then press confirm.
- As you progress, you may notice that some of the fossils in your inventory can’t be selected. This is because the museum already has those fossils in place. Blathers won’t take any duplicates.
- All of the bold skull items are needed by Blathers. If you happen to have two of the same on your person and accidentally select them both to be donated, Blathers will only take one.
- Once you’ve pressed confirm, Blathers will thank you for the donation, and the specimens that you donated will immediately be put on show in the museum.
- To see your fossils on display, simply walk down the steps in the middle of the museum.
In the first hall, you’ll see most of the single-fossil exhibitions. The second room is the main hall that’s filled with the large dinosaur fossils of New Horizons.
Through either of the doors on the right, you’ll find the fossils of creatures from the Cenozoic Era, such as the Mammoth skeleton.
How many fossils in New Horizons?
There are 35 specimens and species with a total of 74 fossils to be found in Animal Crossing New Horizons. You can find up to four fossils per day, with a possibility to find more by going to Mystery Islands, each dig is randomised.
So, digging them all up is quite the undertaking – especially as you will find duplicate fossils.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Full Fossil List
Here is a checklist of all the fossils that you can find in ACNH. There are 74 fossils to find that piece together a total of 35 complete fossil specimens.
They are listed by prehistoric creature, the fossils that need to be found to complete the display, and are ordered by what part of the museum you have to venture into to see the displayed fossils.
|Prehistoric Specimen||Fossils to Find||Museum Room|
|Acanthostega||One Fossil||First Room|
|Amber||One Fossil||First Room|
|Ammonite||One Fossil||First Room|
|Anomalocaris||One Fossil||First Room|
|Dunkleosteus||One Fossil||First Room|
|Eusthenopteron||One Fossil||First Room|
|Myllokunmingia||One Fossil||First Room|
|Shark-Tooth Pattern (Helicoprion)||One Fossil||First Room|
|Trilobite||One Fossil||First Room|
|Archelon||Skull, Tail||Main Hall (Left)|
|Ophthalmosaurus||Skull, Torso||Main Hall (Left)|
|Plesiosaurus||Skull, Body, Tail||Main Hall (Left)|
|Pteranodon||Right Wing, Body, Left Wing||Main Hall (Left)|
|Quetzalcoatlus||Left Wing, Right Wing, Torso||Main Hall (Left)|
|Brachiosaurus||Skull, Chest, Pelvis, Tail||Main Hall (Middle)|
|Diplodocus||Skull, Neck, Chest, Pelvis, Tail, Tail Tip||Main Hall (Middle)|
|Dimetrodon||Skull, Tail, Torso||Main Hall (Front)|
|Juramaia||One Fossil||Main Hall (Front)|
|Ankylosaurus||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Back)|
|Iguanodon||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Back)|
|Pachycephalosaurus||Skull, Tail||Main Hall (Back)|
|Parasaurolophus||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Back)|
|Stegosaurus||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Back)|
|Triceratops||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Back)|
|Archaeopteryx||One Fossil||Main Hall (Right)|
|Coprolite||One Fossil||Main Hall (Right)|
|Deinonychus||Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Right)|
|Dinosaur Track||One Fossil||Main Hall (Right)|
|Spinosaurus||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Right)|
|Tyrannosaurus Rex||Skull, Torso, Tail||Main Hall (Right)|
|Australopith||One Fossil||Right Wing|
|Mammoth||Skull, Torso||Right Wing|
|Megacerops||Skull, Torso, Tail||Right Wing|
|Megaloceros||Right Side, Left Side||Right Wing|
|Sabre-tooth Tiger||Skull, Tail||Right Wing|
How to place fossils in your home
At some point, you’ll find that Blathers doesn’t need as many of your fossil finds, so most players will sell them to Timmy in Resident Services or the shop, Nook’s Cranny, as assessed fossils fetch a high price.
However, you can also put them up in your home, fossil by fossil, with them also being given a fancy stand.
To do this, all you have to do is have an assessed fossil in your inventory, select it, and then choose ‘Place Item.’
If you want to put up a complete skeleton which is comprised of many fossils, you may need to tinker with the placement a bit by using the move controls.
Eventually, though, you’ll find that the pieces snap into place, leaving you with a very impressive fossil on display in your house or somewhere on your island.
How to find more fossils and fill the museum faster
As you can only collect up to four fossils each day, completing the fossil section of Blathers’ museum can take a very long time – especially as you can dig up duplicates.
However, if you use the time travel method, you can jump forward a day at a time, dig up fossils, give them to Blathers, and keep repeating until you have completed all 35 of the displays.
It’s one of the lengthier jobs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but finding all of the fossils for Blathers’ museum is undoubtedly very rewarding.
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