Why Wyoming Is The 2nd Best State To Find Dinosaur Bones
The Hell Creek geological formation, which outcrops in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, and contains some of the most storied dinosaur beds in the world. At the time of the impact, the Hell Creek landscape consisted of steamy, subtropical lowlands and floodplains along the shores of an inland sea. The land teemed with life and the conditions were excellent for fossilization, with seasonal floods and meandering rivers that rapidly buried dead animals and plants. (New Yorker).
A layer knows as the Hell Creek Formation spans the Cretaceous and the Paleogene periods. Paleontologists had known that an extinction had occurred then, because dinosaurs were found below, but never above that layer.
Many theories as to what happened to them have been offered.
The rather new theory in paleontology that a giant meteor slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula, thus killing most life on earth and ending the reign of the dinosaur has gained a lot of traction over the years.
So why are there so many dino bones in Wyoming?
During the Triassic, Wyoming's sea continued its withdrawal. As the sea shrunk away, much of Wyoming was occupied by a coastal plain environment divided by rivers. During the Late Triassic, dinosaurs left behind small footprints in western Wyoming that would later fossilize. (Paleontology in Wyoming).
Wyoming is the #2 State With the Most Dinosaur Fossils
- Total fossils recorded in PBDB: 1,118
- Genus with the most fossils: Theropoda (62 fossils)
- Time period with the most fossils: Maastrichtian (380 fossils)
States with the most dinosaur fossils
#1. California: 1,988 total fossils recorded in PBDB
#2. Wyoming: 1,118 total fossils recorded in PBDB
#3. Montana: 940 total fossils recorded in PBDB
#4. New Mexico: 935 total fossils recorded in PBDB
#5. Florida: 895 total fossils recorded in PBDB