Today, Thermopolis, Wyoming is home to the world’s largest mineral hot spring and is a popular stopping-off point on the way to and from Yellowstone National Park.
But over 150,000 million years ago, dinosaurs called the Big Horn Basin region home and they weren’t exactly in town for a relaxing soak and a souvenir t-shirt.
Drawing an average of 40,000 visitors in the peak travel season, the Wyoming Dinosaur Center is a 16,000 square foot complex that includes a “Top 10” museum, working dinosaur dig sites, and a complete modern preparation laboratory.
Providing hands-on geologic and paleontological experiences that are engaging and enjoyable for visitors of all ages, the Center houses one of the largest and most unique fossil collections in the world and our dig sites have some of the richest fossil-bearing strata in the western United States.
An excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with the science of paleontology, visitors to the museum are encouraged to head out into one of the museum’s 130 designated dig sites. Here they literally dig the dinosaur bones out of the ground, bring them in the prep lab, remove the matrix, and see them on display.
While the museum complex houses over thirty mounted skeletons and hundreds of displays and dioramas, the center’s more popular exhibits are The Thermopolis Specimen (the only Archaeopteryx in North America), Jimbo (a Supersaurus and one of the largest dinosaurs ever mounted), Stan (a 35-foot T-Rex), and a Triceratops (the Wyoming state dinosaur).
Before you go, consult the Wyoming Dinosaur Center website for additional information including dig site de-tours, educational programs, and an interactive tool for planning your visit.
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