Wyoming Day 4/Wyoming Dinosaur Center

A storm front came through today, preventing us from digging. Rather than hang out in the campground all day, we headed south for a field trip. We drove through Wind River Canyon to take another look at the rocks there, visited the hot spring deposits in Thermopolis, and spent a few hours at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, also in Thermopolis. Far from just dinosaurs, this museum includes a good collection of Paleozoic and Mesozoic invertebrate and vertebrate fossils.

The pride and joy of the museum is their Archaeopteryx, the only specimen of this species on exhibit in North America (like all specimens of Archaeopteryx, this one was found in Germany). Archaeopteryx is typically regarded as the oldest known bird. Most of the specimens (including this one) have feather impressions, but the skeleton is completely typical of theropod dinosaurs.

There are numerous other impressive specimens (both casts and real specimens) on exhibit. Below, Tim is serving as a scale next to a single cervical (neck) vertebra from Supersaurus, one of the largest known dinosaurs.

The 106-foot-long cast skeleton of Supersaurus dominates the exhibit hall.

The forecast is somewhat better tomorrow, so we’re hoping to get back into our own site in the morning.

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