Family Fun Friday-Fabulous Fossils

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Photo 1 - Participants will gain hands-on experience in how paleontologists work at fossil dig sites.   (Anyone4Science photo. Used with thanks.)


Photo 2 - Hadrosaurs were among the many species of dinosaurs that once lived in Sweetwater County. The track at right is that of a Hadrosaur, recovered from a coal mine north of Rock Springs in 1927. It is currently on exhibit at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum.


Photo 3 - Prehistoric Lake Gosiute once covered some 20,000 square miles.


Photo 4 - Wyoming’s official state fossil fish, the extinct Knightia were related to sardines and herring. A schooling fish, they swam in the waters of the Green River Formation in uncountable numbers 50 million years ago.




“Family Fun Friday - Fabulous Fossils” at County Museum

(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - July 7, 2022)     The Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River will stage a special outdoor event next week.

Public Engagement Coordinator Aidan Brady will present “Family Fun Friday - Fabulous Fossils” between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Friday, July 15, on the sidewalk in front of the museum, located at 3 E Flaming Gorge Way. Participants will get to handle and explore variety of fossils, including Knightias and a real dinosaur bone, and learn how paleontologists dig and sift for fossils in a dig pit.

The prehistoric era and fossils are integral not only to Sweetwater County history, but its very existence. The immense trona deposits west of Green River stem from Lake Gosiute, a huge prehistoric lake that covered much of southwest Wyoming 50 to 55 million years ago. As the lake evaporated over the course of many years, it became saturated in sodium bicarbonate and began depositing trona in beds running up to 3,500 feet below the surface. 

The vast deposits of coal that brought Rock Springs, Superior, and coal camps like Reliance, Winton, and Stansbury into existence and sustained them for generations are equally prehistoric, coal being the product of gradual heating and compression of organic material over the course of many millions of years.

The public is welcome, and there is no charge for the event.