Map showing which states have state fossils (in blue; states without fossils are gray.)

Most American states have made a state fossil designation, in many cases during the 1980s. It is common to designate one species in which fossilization has occurred, rather than a single specimen, or a category of fossils not limited to a single species.

Some states that lack an explicit state fossil have nevertheless singled out a fossil for formal designation as a state dinosaur, rock, gem or stone.

Table of state fossils

State
federal district
or territory
Age Common name Binomial
name
Image Year adopted
Alabama Eocene Basilosaurus whale Basilosaurus cetoides
1984[1]
Alaska Pleistocene Woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius
1986
Arizona Triassic Petrified wood Araucarioxylon arizonicum
1988
California Pleistocene Saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis
1974
Colorado Jurassic Stegosaurus Stegosaurus armatus
1982
Connecticut Jurassic Dinosaur tracks Eubrontes giganteus
1991
Delaware Cretaceous Belemnite Belemnitella americana
1996
District of Columbia Cretaceous "Capitalsaurus"
(state dinosaur)
nomen nudum only
1998
Florida Eocene Agatized coral
(state stone)
Cnidaria, Anthozoa
1979
Georgia Cretaceous
Miocene
Shark tooth undetermined
1976[2]
Idaho Pliocene Hagerman horse Equus simplicidens
Illinois Pennsylvanian Tully monster Tullimonstrum gregarium
1989[3]
Indiana Holocene American mastodon Mammut americanum
2022[4]
Kansas Cretaceous Pteranodon
(state flying fossil)[5]
Pteranodon longiceps
2014[6]
Cretaceous Tylosaurus
(state marine fossil)[7]
Tylosaurus kansasensis
2014[8]
Kentucky Ordovician
Pennsylvanian
Brachiopod undetermined
1986[9]
Louisiana Oligocene Petrified palmwood Palmoxylon
1976[10]
Maine Devonian Pertica plant Pertica quadrifaria
1976
Maryland Miocene Ecphora gardnerae
shell
Ecphora gardnerae
gardnerae
1984 (name revised, 1994)[11]
Massachusetts Jurassic Dinosaur tracks Eubrontes giganteus
Michigan Holocene American mastodon Mammut americanum
2002
Mississippi Eocene "Prehistoric whale" Zygorhiza kochii
1981[12]
Missouri Pennsylvanian Sea lily Delocrinus missouriensis 1989
Montana Cretaceous Duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum
Nebraska Pleistocene Woolly mammoth
Columbian mammoth
Imperial mammoth
Mammuthus primigenius
Mammuthus columbi
Mammuthus imperator
Nevada Triassic Ichthyosaur[13][14] Shonisaurus popularis
1977 (designated) 1988 (amended)
New Mexico Triassic Coelophysis Coelophysis bauri
1981
New York Silurian Sea scorpion Eurypterus remipes
1984
North Carolina Miocene- Pliocene Shark tooth Otodus megalodon
Otodus megalodon tooth
2013[15]
North Dakota Paleocene Shipworm-bored
petrified wood
Teredo petrified wood
Ohio Ordovician Trilobite Isotelus maximus (Fossil invertebrate)
1985[16]
Devonian Dunkleosteus Dunkleosteus terrelli (Fossil Fish)
2021[17]
Oklahoma Jurassic Saurophaganax Saurophaganax maximus
2000[18]
Oregon Eocene Dawn redwood Metasequoia
2005
Pennsylvania Devonian Trilobite Phacops rana
1988[19]
South Carolina Pleistocene Columbian mammoth Mammuthus columbi
2014[20]
South Dakota Cretaceous Triceratops Triceratops horridus
Tennessee Cretaceous Bivalve Pterotrigonia thoracica
Utah Jurassic Allosaurus Allosaurus fragilis
1988[21]
Vermont Pleistocene Beluga whale (redesignated as state marine fossil in 2014) Delphinapterus leucas
1993[22][23]
Pleistocene Woolly mammoth
tooth and tusk
(state terrestrial fossil)
Mammuthus primigenius
2014[23][24]
Virginia Cenozoic scallop Chesapecten jeffersonius
1993
Washington Pleistocene Columbian mammoth Mammuthus columbi
1998[25]
West Virginia Late Pleistocene Jefferson's ground sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii
2008[26]
Wisconsin Silurian Trilobite Calymene celebra
1985[27]
Wyoming Eocene Knightia Knightia spp.
1987

States lacking a state fossil

See also

References

  1. ^ "Official State of Alabama Fossil". Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors. Alabama Department of Archives & History. August 2, 2005. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  2. ^ "Georgia State Fossil". State Symbols, State Fossil. e-Reference Desk. March 30, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Illinois State Symbols, Department of Natural Resources, retrieved May 20, 2019
  4. ^ Indiana lawmakers name mastodon as first state fossil, WHAS-TV, Associated Press, February 19, 2022, retrieved February 21, 2022
  5. ^ "State Fossils - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society".
  6. ^ "List of State Fossils". State Symbols, State Fossil. Fossilera. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "State Fossils - Kansapedia - Kansas Historical Society".
  8. ^ "List of State Fossils". State Symbols, State Fossil. Fossilera. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Kentucky State Symbols". Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. March 30, 2007. Archived from the original on January 28, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  10. ^ "Louisiana State Fossil". State Symbols, State Fossil. e-Reference Desk. March 8, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  11. ^ "Maryland's Official State Fossil Shell". Maryland Geological Survey. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Fossil whale: State Fossil of Mississippi (PDF), Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, 1991, retrieved May 9, 2019
  13. ^ "Nevada State Fossil | Ichthyosaur". May 28, 2014.
  14. ^ "Nevada State Fossil: Ichthyosaur (Genus Shonisaurus)".
  15. ^ "Fossil, Fossilized Teeth of the Megalodon Shark | NCpedia". ncpedia.org. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "5.071 State invertebrate fossil", Ohio Revised Code, retrieved February 9, 2021
  17. ^ "5.078 Official fossil fish of the state", Ohio Revised Code, retrieved February 9, 2021
  18. ^ "Oklahoma State Fossil | Saurophaganax Maximus". statesymbolsusa.org. September 6, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  19. ^ Official State Fossil – Phaecops rana (PDF), Pennsylvania Legislature, December 5, 1988, retrieved September 28, 2021
  20. ^ "South Carolina Fossil". WLTX. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  21. ^ Utah State Fossil - Allosaurus from pioneer.utah.gov "Pioneer - Utah's Online Library" page. Retrieved on September 8, 2008
  22. ^ Vermont has both a state terrestrial fossil and a state marine fossil.
  23. ^ a b "Vermont State Terrestrial Fossil". E Reference Desk. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Mammoth Tusk Discovered 1865". Brattleboro History. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  25. ^ http://leg.wa.gov/Symbols/ WA State Symbols
  26. ^ http://www.herald-dispatch.com/homepage/x112312085 Manchins signs bills involving snakes, fossils, research into law
  27. ^ "Wisconsin State Symbols". State of Wisconsin. Archived from the original on January 12, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  28. ^ "Giant Beaver swamps competition to be Minnesota state fossil". MPR News. October 13, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  29. ^ "Iowa to consider recognizing official state fossil". The Seattle Times. January 23, 2018.
  30. ^ Carlson, Brady (January 6, 2015). "Granite Geek: Will The Mastodon Become New Hampshire's Official State Fossil?". New Hampshire Public Radio.
  31. ^ "Texas State Symbols". Texas State Legislature. Retrieved December 13, 2017.