What Kind Of Dinosaurs Lived In Wyoming?
That place on the planet we now call Wyoming has been through a lot.
It once was at the bottom of an ocean. It's been an inland sea. It's been a swamp. It's been much higher and dryer than it is now.
Wyoming was once DINO LAND.
Below is a short list of just a few of the creatures that lived here way back when.
The stegosaurus was discovered in Wyoming. Stegosaurus longispinus was equipped with four unusually long neural spines. More of these creatures have been found in Colorado. There are now various types of stegosaurus known.
Found in Wyoming and Montana, Deinonychus was the model for the "Velociraptors" in Jurassic Park. But the way they are portrayed in that movie is not exactly how they looked. It is now thought that they actually had feathers, but could not fly.
Triceratops is the official state dinosaur of Wyoming. So many have been found here. The most complete skull has been found in Wyoming..
This guy was the armored tank of its time. The famous fossil hunter Barnum Brown unearthed the scattered "scutes" (armored plates) of this plant-eating dinosaur. The flaw in the armor was the soft underbelly. Flit it over and it's an easy kill.
These were the big dinos with the long necks. In the late 19th century, a huge number of sauropod remains were discovered in Wyoming. The famous "Bone Wars" between the rival paleontologists Othniel C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope happened in this state, and it got UGLY!
Theropods--meat-eating dinosaurs, large and small. They have been found all over Wyoming. Fossils of the late Jurassic Allosaurus and the late Cretaceous and much-loved Tyrannosaurus Rex have both been discovered in this state in large numbers.
This is a funny-looking thing. Pachycephalosaurs--Greek for "thick-headed lizards"--were small- to medium-sized plant-eating dinosaurs that head-butted each other with their extra-thick skulls for dominance in the herd and to fight predators.
This is going to be hard to describe. Let's cross a duck, a flamingo, and a goose. That's a Presbyornis. Weird right? This prehistoric bird has puzzled paleontologists ever since its discovery in Wyoming in the late 20th century.
During the early Eocene epoch--about 55 to 50 million years ago--the first prehistoric bats appeared on earth. Wyoming has many well-preserved fossils of these things that, even back then, used echolocation.
The official state fossil of Wyoming, Knightia was a prehistoric fish, closely related to the modern herring. They lived in Wyoming during the Eocene epoch. That was when Wyoming was mostly covered in a shallow sea. Thousands of Knightia fossils have been discovered in Wyoming's Green River formation with many other inland sea creatures.
Various Megafauna Mammals
At one time Wyoming was inhabited by ancestral horses, primates, elephants, and camels, as well as bizarre "thunder beasts" like Uintatherium. Most of these animals, even the horses, went extinct.