In 2018 I commented on a case in the 9th Circuit court of Appeals, Murray v BEJ Minerals, LLC, holding that fossils of two “dueling dinosaurs”, a 22-foot-long theropod and a 28-foot-long ceratopsian, “engaged in mortal combat” when “entombed under a pile of sandstone,” were “minerals” under Montana law. Well, not so fast. The federal court decided to ask the Montana Supreme Court to weigh in on the question. It’s answer? Dinosaur bones are not minerals after all. Murray v. BEJ Minerals, 464 P.3d 80 (Mont. 2020). Including one dissenting opinion, the court took 21 pages and 23 footnotes to reach its conclusion. In the meantime, the Montana legislature weighed in with a statute clarifying the definition of fossils and distinguishing them from minerals. Read more about the bones and the dueling over ownership here.