Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

3.6 Your State Fossil


3.6: Your state fossil

A terrific book to share with your kids is Stephen Brusatte‘s Stately Fossils: A Comprehensive Look at the State Fossils and Other Official Fossils (2006). Brusatte provides background about each fossil and how it came to be the designated state fossil.

Alabama Basilosaurus cetoides (Eocene whale)

Alaska Mammuthus primigenius (Pleistocene woolly mammoth)

Arizona Araucarioxylon arizsonicum (Triassic petrified wood)

Arkansas – none

California Smilodon (californicus) fatalis (Pleistocene saber tooth cat)

Colorado Stegosaurus stenops (Jurassic dino)

Connecticut Eubrontes giganteus (Triassic/Jurassic dinosaur footprint)

Delaware Belemnitella americana (Cretaceous cephalopod, or belemnite)

District of Columbia – Capitalsaurus (dinosaur)

Florida Eupatagus antillarum (Eocene heart urchin)

Georgia – Tertiary Shark Teeth

Hawaii – none

Idaho Equus simplicidens (the "Hagerman horse" from the Pliocene Epoch)

Illinois Tullimonstrum gregarium (Pennsylvanian "Tully Monster")

Indiana – none

Iowa – none

Kansas – none

Kentucky – Paleozoic Brachiopod

Louisiana Palmoxylon (Oligocene petrified palm wood)

Maine Pertica quadrifaria (Devonian plant)

Maryland Ecphora gardnerae (Miocene marine gastropod) + a state dinosaur, Astrodon johnstoni (Cretaceous dinosaur)

Massachusetts – Jurassic Dinosaur Tracks

Michigan Mammut americanum (Pleistocene mastodon); also, the state rock is a fossil, Hexagonaria percarinata (a Devonian coral called "Petoskey Stone")

Minnesota Castoroides ohioensis (Pleistocene giant beaver; this is the "unofficial" state fossil)

Mississippi Basilosaurus and Zygorhiza kochii (Eocene whales)

Missouri Delocrinus missouriensis (Pennsylvanian crinoid) + a state dinosaur, Hypsibema missouriensis

Montana Maiasaurus peeblesorum (Cretaceous dinosaur)

Nebraska – Pleistocene Mammoth

Nevada Shonisauris ichthyosaurus (Triassic ichthyosaur, a marine reptile)

New Hampshire – none

New Jersey Hadrosaurus foulkii (Cretaceous dinosaur)

New Mexico Coelophysis (Triassic dinosaur)

New York Eurypterus remipes (Silurian sea scorpion)

North Carolina – none

North Dakota – Teredo Petrified Wood (Paleocene wood bored by shipworms)

Ohio Isotelus (Ordovician trilobite)

Oklahoma Saurophaganax maximus (Jurassic dinosaur)

Oregon Metasequoia (Eocene dawn redwood)

Pennsylvania Phacops rana (Devonian trilobite)

Rhode Island – none

South Carolina – none

South Dakota Tricerotops prorsus (Cretaceous dinosaur)

Tennessee Pterotrigonia thoracica (Cretaceous bivalve)

Texas Pleurocoelus (Cretaceous dinosaur)

Utah Allosaurus fragilis (Jurassic dinosaur)

Vermont Delphinapterus leucas (Pleistocene beluga whale)

Virginia Chesapecten jeffersonius (Pliocene pecten, or scallop)

Washington Mammuthus columbi (Pleistocene Columbian mammoth)

West Virginia – none (but the state gem is a Mississippian fossil coral, Lithostrotionella)

Wisconsin Calymene celebra (Silurian trilobite)

Wyoming Knightia (Eocene herring) + a state dinosaur, Tricerotops (Cretaceous dinosaur)

Note: Kids who write a paper or give an oral report for this activity can also use it to satisfy requirements toward earning the Communication badge (Activities 7.1 and 7.2).