Antiquities of Wyoming: Interesting Facts

Wyoming recognizes the buffalo (also called bison) as its state animal, recognizing the enormous impact these large animals have had on the history and culture of the region.

The state continues to be home to one of the largest bison herds in the country. Ironically, red bison meat for culinary purposes is also very popular in Wyoming.

Wyoming’s fossil record includes specimens from the Precambrian, the very beginning of the Earth. Everything from algae and Nightia fish to dinosaurs, crocodiles and mammals have been found in the state’s soil. In fact, Wyoming is one of the few states to have a state dinosaur! (That’s a Triceratops, in case you were wondering.) The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis has one of the largest fossil collections in the world, as well as excavation sites that contain some of the most fossil-rich soil layers in the United States.

Fossils are so common in Wyoming that an entire house is made of them. Fossil Cabin is located near Medicine Bow, Virginia, and uses bones recovered from Como Bluff. The original idea was to build a complete skeleton out of bones as a roadside attraction for Thomas Boylan’s gas station. However, there weren’t enough bones to make a full-fledged dinosaur, so Thomas used nearly 5,800 fossilized bones to create the hut instead. Built in 1932, the fossil hut operated as a museum until 1992.