- Wyoming Dinosaur Center
- Tate Geological Museum at Casper College
- University of Wyoming Geological Museum
- Paleon Museum in Glenrock
- Fossil Butte National Monument – Kemmerer
- Cottonwood Creek Dinosaur Trail – Alcova
- Wyoming State Museum
- Warfield Fossil Safari – Kemmerer
- The University of Wyoming Geological Museum – Laramie
- Bighorn Basin Geoscience Center – Greybull
Dinosaurs found in Wyoming
- Triceratops: One of the most famous horned dinosaurs, Triceratops fossils have been found in Wyoming’s Lance Formation, which dates back to the Late Cretaceous period.
- Allosaurus: This large carnivorous dinosaur is known from the Morrison Formation, a rock unit spanning several states, including Wyoming. Allosaurus fossils are particularly abundant in the state.
- Apatosaurus: This massive long-necked dinosaur, also known as Brontosaurus, has been discovered in the Morrison Formation as well.
- Diplodocus: Another long-necked dinosaur found in the Morrison Formation, Diplodocus fossils have been uncovered in Wyoming, offering insights into the life and behavior of these giant herbivores.
- Stegosaurus: Known for its distinctive plates and spikes, Stegosaurus fossils have been found in the Morrison Formation in Wyoming, providing important information about this iconic dinosaur.
- Camarasaurus: This large sauropod dinosaur is another species found in the Morrison Formation in Wyoming, showcasing the diversity of dinosaurs that once inhabited the region.
- Did dinosaurs live in Wyoming? Yes, they did! But don’t worry, they’ve all moved on. Wyoming is a hot spot for dinosaur fossils, not dinosaur sightings. If you do see a dinosaur, it’s probably a sculpture, or you’ve stumbled onto a movie set.
- What kinds of dinosaurs have been found in Wyoming? All kinds! Wyoming has served up a veritable Jurassic buffet of dinosaur fossils over the years, including Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, and Diplodocus. The state is like the Hollywood Walk of Fame for dinosaurs.
- Where can I see dinosaur fossils in Wyoming? You’re spoiled for choice. Try the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, Fossil Butte National Monument, or the Tate Geological Museum. They’re all chock full of prehistoric celebrities.
- Can I go on a dinosaur dig in Wyoming? Yes! Some places, like the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, offer dig programs where you can try your hand at paleontology. Just remember, if you unearth a T-Rex, it’s finders keepers!
- Why are there so many dinosaur fossils in Wyoming? Millions of years ago, Wyoming had the perfect conditions for preserving dinosaur remains, like being covered in sediments. It was essentially a dinosaur mummification factory.
- Did Wyoming have any unique dinosaurs? Indeed, it did. For instance, Deinonychus antirrhopus, a vicious little predator, was first discovered in Wyoming. Imagine a Velociraptor with a cowboy hat.
- Are dinosaur fossils the state fossil of Wyoming? Not exactly, the state fossil of Wyoming is Knightia, a prehistoric fish. Even though Wyoming is famous for its dinosaur fossils, it decided to give the honor to something a little less… toothy.
- Are there any dinosaur-themed attractions in Wyoming? You bet Jurassic there are! Besides the museums, you can visit places like the Dinosaur Bonehouse and see a variety of dinosaur sculptures scattered around the state.
- Can I take home any fossils I find in Wyoming? No, actually. It’s illegal to take fossils from public lands without a permit. It’s like taking home a piece of the furniture after a house tour. Not cool, and also theft.
- What’s the biggest dinosaur found in Wyoming? One of the largest dinosaurs found in Wyoming is the Diplodocus, a long-necked, long-tailed behemoth that was about as long as three school buses. Yes, three. You wouldn’t want to meet one in a narrow alley.
- What’s the oldest dinosaur found in Wyoming? The Coelophysis, a small, agile carnivore from the Late Triassic Period, is one of the oldest dinosaurs found in Wyoming. It’s so old it makes the T-rex look like a spring chicken.
My visit to the dinosaur museum in Wyoming was an experience that transported me back in time, millions of years to the age of the dinosaurs. The moment I stepped into the museum, I was greeted by the towering skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Its massive jaws were agape, showcasing rows of serrated teeth, each the size of a large kitchen knife. The T. rex, standing at a staggering 40 feet in length and around 12 feet tall at the hips, dominated the exhibit hall, casting an awe-inspiring shadow over the other displays.
As I wandered through the museum, the air was thick with the musty scent of ancient bones and the quiet whispers of history. Each exhibit was a window into the distant past. I saw a Triceratops skull, its three iconic horns weathered by time, and its massive frill, which could reach over 7 feet in width, was an impressive shield even in fossilized form.
The museum had an incredible array of fossils, each meticulously excavated and preserved. I recall being particularly fascinated by the delicate skeleton of a Velociraptor, much smaller in real life than the movies would have you believe. It was about the size of a turkey, roughly 6.8 feet long and 1.6 feet high at the hip, but its curved claw on each hind foot hinted at its predatory prowess.
One of the most engaging parts of the museum was the interactive dig site where I could try my hand at paleontology. Using tools provided, I carefully brushed away sand to reveal the replica bones of a Stegosaurus embedded in the ground. The plates along its back, though just replicas, were impressive, each one potentially up to 2.5 feet tall.
The museum also offered a virtual reality experience, where I donned a headset and was immersed in a prehistoric world. I found myself standing in a lush Cretaceous forest, surrounded by dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. The level of detail was incredible; I could see the texture of the dinosaurs’ skin and hear the sounds of their calls echoing through the ancient trees.
Before leaving, I spent time in the gift shop, which was filled with dinosaur models and books. I picked up a scale model of an Apatosaurus, its long neck stretching nearly 8 inches from end to end, a small memento of this journey through time.
They all disappeared one day due to large comet
- Wyoming Dinosaur Center (Thermopolis): This world-class museum features an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils and offers guided tours of the nearby Warm Springs Ranch dig site. Visitors can participate in actual fossil excavations through their “Dig for a Day” program or multi-day “Dinosaur Academy” experience, working alongside paleontologists to uncover dinosaur remains.
- Como Bluff: This historic site, located between Medicine Bow and Rock River, is known as the “Dinosaur Graveyard” and played a significant role in the 19th-century “Bone Wars.” Although there is no visitor center or formal tours, you can visit the site independently and see the area where numerous dinosaur fossils were discovered.
- Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite (near Greybull): While not specifically a dig site, this location preserves a large expanse of dinosaur footprints in the rock, providing a unique perspective on the lives of the dinosaurs that roamed the region millions of years ago. The site is open to the public and offers interpretive signs and a short trail.
- Big Horn Basin Geoscience Center (Greybull): This center conducts fieldwork in the Big Horn Basin, including dinosaur fossil excavations. They occasionally offer public programs and opportunities for visitors to participate in fieldwork experiences, which can include visiting dig sites and learning about paleontological techniques.