It appears that a lot happened in Wyoming long before anyone ever referred to it as Wyoming. Long before humans walked the planet.

Two of the oldest known bat fossils in the world were found in Wyoming, at the Green River Formation near the town of Kemmerer.

The Fossil Lake in Fossil Basin is rich in finds.

The area is massive.

The formation’s site spans Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.

That's back when that area was a tropic swamp, like the Florida Everglades, in the Eocene, around 50 million years ago.

At the time the area was not a dry desert as we see today.

It was a subtropical environment; surrounded by highlands and mountains. More temperate highland flora grew there.

little blue heron and a duck in the swamp
Jaimie Tuchman

“A third bat skeleton like the other two was found in 2022, which we purchased, and it will be on display at the Fossil Butte Museum before Memorial Day weekend.” John Collins, educational technician at Fossil Butte National Monument. (Kemmerer Gazette). 

These newly discovered bat skeletons were found in the Green River Formation in southwest Wyoming.

The new species left by 50% of the known bat diversity, according to an article published in Smithsonian Magazine.

“The Fossil Lake deposits of the Green River Formation are simply amazing, because the conditions that created the paper-thin limestone layers also preserved nearly everything that settled to the lake’s bottom,” said Arvid Aase, park manager and museum curator at the Fossil Butte National Monument. “One of these bat specimens was found lower in the section than all other bats, making this species older than any of the other bat species recovered from this deposit.” (Kemmerer Gazette). 

Photo By Tim Mandese
Photo By Tim Mandese

Wyoming, back then, was nothing like the Wyoming we know today.

As our planet continues to evolve and the climate endlessly changes, think of what this area might look like in another 10,000 years.

Wyoming Dinosaur Center

Thermopolis Wyoming has one of the most interesting and active dinosaur museums in the world. As they continued to make new finds in the area they put in on display, so you can discover and learn.

Let's have a look at some of what is on display.

Reading The Past - Chugwater Wyoming Newspaper

These pages of the old Chugwter Wyoming newspaper show us coverage of the region from back in the 1940s.

There was little local news, other than the war.

But what was published at the time was important to the people of the area.

It was, in most case, the only news they had from outside their little ranch or town.

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