Driving into town you certainly get the feeling Thermopolis knows it’s on to a great thing as hints about the museum are everywhere. When I say ‘hints’, there’s a dinosaur statue along the main road and dinosaur signs everywhere.
I work at another dinosaur museum that resembles this one in many ways. It’s mostly a single room that people get to walk around in, so I truly appreciate the layout of the display.
Amongst the specimens on display is the first ever Albertaceratops...
...a rare Therizinosaurus...
...and a T. rex skeleton (Stan I do believe) attacking a Triceratops.
Along one wall are a number of ichthyosaurs, a long-necked elasmosaur and a pliosaur.
There are local species such as Maiasaura feeding a nest of hatchlings...
...and the small saber-tooth cat, Dinictis
There are the standard species, Coelophysis, along with extremely rare species such as ‘Jimbo the Supersaurus’- an enormous 106ft sauropod that dominates the middle of the display and is the reason for the size of the building.
This thing is huge (one of the largest sauropods ever mounted), and even better you get to walk around it, a 360 degree view, and you even get to see it standing by some of the larger predators and see just how tiny they were in comparison.
This one is not behind bulletproof glass like the others and you can get rather close to it. The lighting also makes it easy to see the fossil in detail.
Another great specimen is Bambiraptor, the first I have seen in all the museums I have ever visited.
Wyoming is of course a hotbed for dinosaur fossils and there are a number of operating quarries near the museum where specimens are collected for preparation.
One corner of the display has a large window through which you can watch people preparing fossils.
The museum also runs digs that the general public can join in for a fee, also there’s an opportunity for people to help prepare fossils and for students to do courses, which I believe end with university credits.
Indeed the Wyoming Dinosaur Center consistently tops the best dinosaur museum’s you can visit in the states, so if you’re planning a holiday to the West, I suggest this destination make’s your list.