I know, right--this is uber cool.
State legislatures love to name official things for their states. There are state birds, state flowers, state animals, but in the 70s and 80s a few states decided they needed to honor the animals from prehistory.
So here are a few:
State Fossil = Basilosaurus whale
This is an early whale that lived 40 million years ago in the Eocene period.
State Fossil = Wooly Mammoth
Closely related to the Asian Elephant, the Mammoth was covered in fur and had small ears so they wouldn't get frostbitten!
State Fossil = Saber-toothed Cat
Turns out the Saber-toothed cat wasn't very cat-like. In fact it had a build similar to a bear.
State Dinosaur = Stegosaurus armatus
Their heads stayed low to the ground and their tales high!
State Fossil = Pteranodon
These flying animals had a wingspan of 18 feet.
State Dinosaur = Duck-billed dinosaur
They laid their eggs in spirals and incubated them with rotting vegetation similar to how a compost heap works.
State Fossil = Trilobite
The earliest trilobites have dated back to 540 million years ago.
State Dinosaur = Triceratops
Paleontologists think their frill served the same purpose as antlers on reindeer...for mating displays.
State Dinosaur = Allosaurus
The Allosaurus was the top of the food chain.
State Fossil = Jefferson's Ground Sloth
Future U.S. President Thomas Jefferson presented the first fossil specimen in 1797 to the American Philosophical Society.
Does your state have a state dinosaur or a state fossil? Go look it up!!