52-Million-Year-Old Crocodile Fossil Unearthed In Wyoming
The one constant we can count on is that nothing stays the same.
There was once an area that was at the bottom of an ocean, that became a massive inland lake, and later a swamp.
We now call that place - WYOMING!
Look at what the Louisiana Bayous of today, or perhaps the Everglades of Florida, and you see what Wyoming once looked like.
Wyoming once had marshes and CROCODILES.
About 10 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct, during the Eocene Period the crocodile emerged.
One of these Wyoming crocodiles died about 52 million and remained where he died until just recently.
That's a long time to stay in one place.
But the creature was well protected from the elements and scavengers.
So there it stayed, in almost pristine condition.
Fossil collectors Dean and Stacey Sherman, along with their business partners Garey and Lisa Lacey, were hunting around Kemmerer.
At first, it just looked like a bump in the ground.
But as they investigated they discovered a 13-foot crocodile.
“Some share diggers on the property told us that they found a spot on the ground that looked like it could be a fossil,” Stacey said.
She said the fossil is in two pieces because it was found in a natural fault line, but it is complete.
“We have three quarters of the front half prepared,” she said. “We are working on it as a team.
The preservation on this crocodile is amazing.
You can see every divot in the chutes.” (Kemmerer Gazette).
This specimen was found in the Stone Fossil quarry on the Lewis Ranch, outside of Kemmerer.
This is part of the Green River Formation which covers Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.
This area is one of the most well-preserved on Earth and is known for its many diverse fossils from many different eras.
The new owners of this crocodile fossil are preparing it for sale.
They hope to sell it to a museum.
The ocean, which became a massive lake, and then a swamp, continues to rise in elevation and dry out to this day.
As the geological and climate continues to naturally change many more interesting clues to the past will be unearthed.