Newt Gingrich traded his gavel for a small pickax and went digging for dinosaur fossils in Montana.

The House speaker, on his hands and knees, found several fragments of rock-colored dinosaur egg shells - and some plain old rocks - during Friday's dig.Gingrich and others joined paleontologist Jack Horner, curator for the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, on a 2 1/2-hour excavation of "egg mountain" and "egg island," sites west of Choteau, Mont., that were prehistoric nesting grounds for dinosaurs.

In all, about 40 people hiked through the prairie grass and ravines with him for the fund-raising dig. Those accompanying him paid $5,000, of which $4,000 was a gift to the museum.