‘Yellowstone’ TV: Will Tate Dutton’s Dinosaur Fossils Come Back Into Play?

by Jon D. B.

While Tate’s dual heritage tends to be the focal point of ‘Yellowstone’s future, his gigantic discovery on family land looks to be the true key to the Dutton’s salvation.

Even after everything all the senior generations of Duttons have gone through, one tiny grandson shines above the rest as their best chance at survival. When it comes to family, it’s natural to protect and cherish our youngest above all else. In the case of Yellowstone Ranch, however, this mentality may literally end up saving the entire bloodline’s legacy.

While a promising future lies in John Dutton’s only grandson, Tate, through his dual indigenous/settler bloodlines alone, this may ultimately pale in comparison to the importance of the tiniest Dutton’s grandest discovery.

Tate & ‘Yellowstone’s Dinosaur: Protected Land?

On ‘Yellowstone,’ any glimmer of hope for the Duttons shines like gold. Every time things look remotely sun-shiney for the family, something – or someone – comes along to drown it away. While these threats prove immensely entertaining (thanks to performances like Josh Holloway as Roarke Morris), there’s got to be a glimmer of hope left after that devastating Season 3 finale. Thankfully, Tate Dutton is not only adorable, but a likely savior, as well.

Looking all the way back to the premiere episode of ‘Yellowstone’, “Daybreak”, sharp fans now believe the key to saving the Dutton empire has been right in front of us since the very beginning.

In the pilot episode, viewers meet a tiny Tate as he discovers a fossil formation. Not just any fossil, however, but actual dinosaur bones on his family’s land. It’s a startling discovery, sure, but becomes far more perplexing as cable’s #1 drama moves along. Tate’s discovery features prominently in the opener – then vanishes without a trace for the majority of Seasons 1-3.

We have yet to see these fossils again since Kayce’s homestead was hit by marauders. So why throw such an odd curveball into the very first episode? Paleontology has nothing to do with ‘Yellowstone’ at large. There has to be a reason for this, right?

As the show has continued, viewers have come to know creator/writer Taylor Sheridan’s love for foreshadowing. Sheridan has tied in distinct instances of the storytelling tactic – especially for John Dutton himself.

With all of this in mind, Tate’s discovery has to come back into play -and prominently. The fossils have been given their own storyline, so to speak, after all. So when it all comes down to the final straw(s), these historic treasures should prove invaluable to the Duttons.

Viewers Think “Strange” Dinosaur Revelation will Save the Ranch

Speaking to this, ‘Yellowstone’ fans have taken to Reddit in order to work through Tate’s discovery and any resulting “dinosaur theories.” Many viewers believe, too, that these fossils absence since Season 1 is beyond conspicuous.

Redditor phonebook29 phrases the prominent “dinosaur theory” best, saying “all hope to save the property seems to be going up in smoke with every passing episode. The thing that will ultimately save the ranch goes all the way back to the dinosaur bones found in the beginning of the show. Not sure how this will play out but I have always thought this was a strange thing to drop on us at the beginning of S1E1.”

Strange, indeed. Unless the show is gearing up for their return. As a result of their discovery, Redditors now claim “getting the ranch listed as a protected site” is the only way to prevent Roarke Morris from getting his “greedy hands on the land” – and Outsider fully agrees.

With the fossils gone, however, how this happens is anyone’s guess. Even if the fossils have to be “planted” back on Yellowstone land, we know the Duttons aren’t above this – at all. In turn, if the ranch becomes a protected site of paleontological significance, then Tate Dutton’s discovery – and obsession with dinosaurs – will save ‘Yellowstone’ for good.

Even if the original dinosaur bones don’t turn back up, there’s bound to be more on the land. We see this firsthand when John Dutton shows his grandson other types of fossils present beneath their home:

John & Tate Discuss Dinosaurs in ‘A Grandpa’s Story’

“You know, there was a time when most of Montana was under the ocean,” John tells his grandson. “And I’m betting that right here… was the beach. ‘Cause you see this? I’m thinking these washed up on the shore, and your buddy here, the dinosaur, he was probably out walking looking for dinner right here.”

The fossil John shows Tate looks to be a small ammonite. While beautiful, these small, spiraling organisms are common, however, and wouldn’t stand to protect the land. But Tate’s dinosaur, or another like it, absolutely will.

With so much at risk leading into Season 4, we’re betting ‘Yellowstone’ fans will be hearing more about dinosaurs and their fossils very soon.