Washington state dinosaur bill far from extinct
An effort to designate an official Washington state dinosaur is back before lawmakers.
What's happening: For the fifth year in a row, a bill aims to bestow that statewide honor on the Suciasaurus rex, a T. rex relative whose fossilized femur is the only dinosaur remnant ever discovered in Washington.
- The state dinosaur measure was prefiled last week in advance of the 2023 legislative session, which begins Jan. 9.
- The bill didn't advance in past sessions as lawmakers debated climate legislation, the state budget and other weighty items.
Why it matters: Washington got national attention in 2015 when it became the 37th state to confirm that a dinosaur fossil had been found within its borders — a discovery that's becoming increasingly rare.
Details: The Suciasaurus rex is named after Sucia Island in San Juan County, where it was discovered in 2012 by two research associates from Seattle's Burke Museum.
- The two researchers were looking for fossils of sea creatures when they spotted the partially exposed dinosaur bone on the beach, according to a Burke Museum blog post from 2015.
- The fossil is now on display at the museum, which focuses on natural history and culture.
Be smart: If you think it's silly for legislators to spend time on things like picking a state dinosaur, keep in mind that these kinds of proposals are often about civic education and engagement.
- The bill was originally proposed by fourth graders at Elmhurst Elementary in the Franklin Pierce School District, according to a House press release.
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