Fossil guide & list

After Blathers moves into your island (donate five bugs/fish to Tom Nook for this to happen), there will begin to be four fossils buried on your island each day. Keep an eye out for any markings in the ground!

There are 73 fossils in the game. The fossils available are unaffected by the current season.


If playing solo, it is possible to calculate how long it is likely to take to donate every fossil. This is a classic example of the coupon collector’s problem. To acquire every fossil, it is expected you would have to dig up 356 fossils, or spend 89 days digging up all four daily fossils.

When you unlock the ladder, you will find an additional two fossils in the higher areas of your island, making an effective six fossils you can collect one day. This is a one-off.


It’s possible to speed this process up by trading with other players. Simply invite someone to your island, or visit someone else’s, and drop the fossils to trade them. This works equally well over local multiplayer, or online.

Naturally, I recommend the ACNH Info Forum or ACNH Info Discord for this. However, I do have to admit that neither are active in the slightest, so I don’t mind if you go elsewhere.

Cheating the system

If you are too impatient to wait around for new fossils to spawn each day, you can go into your Nintendo Switch system settings and change the system date. Advancing it one day forwards or backwards is enough to get new fossils to spawn.

Fossil list

  1. acanthostega
  2. amber
  3. ammonite
  4. ankylo skull
  5. ankylo tail
  6. ankylo torso
  7. anomalocaris
  8. archaeopteryx
  9. archelon skull
  10. archelon tail
  11. australopith
  12. brachio chest
  13. brachio pelvis
  14. brachio skull
  15. brachio tail
  16. coprolite
  17. deinony tail
  18. deinony torso
  19. dimetrodon skull
  20. dimetrodon torso
  21. dinosaur track
  22. diplo chest
  23. diplo neck
  24. diplo pelvis
  25. diplo skull
  26. diplo tail
  27. diplo tail tip
  28. dunkleosteus
  29. eusthenopteron
  30. iguanodon skull
  31. iguanodon tail
  32. iguanodon torso
  33. juramaia
  34. mammoth skull
  35. mammoth torso
  36. megacero skull
  37. megacero tail
  38. megacero torso
  39. megalo left side
  40. megalo right side
  41. myllokunmingia
  42. ophthalmo skull
  43. ophthalmo torso
  44. pachy skull
  45. pachy tail
  46. parasaur skull
  47. parasaur tail
  48. parasaur torso
  49. plesio body
  50. plesio skull
  51. plesio tail
  52. ptera body
  53. ptera left wing
  54. ptera right wing
  55. quetzal torso
  56. quetzal left wing
  57. quetzal right wing
  58. sabertooth skull
  59. sabertooth tail
  60. shark-tooth pattern
  61. spino skull
  62. spino tail
  63. spino torso
  64. stego skull
  65. stego tail
  66. stego torso
  67. T. rex skull
  68. T. rex tail
  69. T. rex torso
  70. tricera skull
  71. tricera tail
  72. tricera torso
  73. trilobite

5 thoughts on “Fossil guide & list”

  1. I think you’re missing one of the fossils from the first room, as I have 3 spots open but i’m only missing two from this list

  2. Hi! Thanks for the guide, it’s the most complete one I’ve seen!

    Blathers accepted an Ichthyo Skull from me the other day but I don’t see it on your list. I’ll see if I can find it in my museum later to show you.

    • I thought I’d sourced a complete list! I’ll investigate the what’s up with that. There’s a good list on Fandom, but I’m reluctant to copy from there in case someone has thought “it’s in New Leaf, so it must be in New Horizons.” Thanks for taking the time to help out!

      • Hey, I looked at my catalog today and it turns out I was wrong. I had looked at some other guides before yours and written on the wrong line in my journal. I’ll believe you that Ichthyo doesn’t exist. I had meant to write in my journal that I had donated an Iguanodon Skull.

        Thanks for your hard work!


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