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State Fossil

Though every state in the United States has a State Bird and a State Flower, not every state in the United States has a State Fossil.

State Fossils tend to be quite dramatic. California has chosen the Pleistocene Sabertooth cat, Smilodon fatalis familiar from the La Brea Tar Pits. And Alaska has the Woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Of course there are plenty of dinosaurs (Colorado's Stegosaurus, New Jersey's Hadrosaur Hadrosaurus foulki, or Montana's duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum) and even sets of dinosaur footprints (both Connecticut and Massachusetts). Nevada recalls its days as beachfront property with a Triassic Ichthyosaur, Shonisaurus popularis. Idaho has chosen an early horse, Equus simplicidens. Alabama and Mississippi have a pair of Eocene archaeocete whales, and Vermont has the most recent fossil, Charlotte, the Vermont Whale, a Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) from an arm of the sea that extended into Pleistocene Vermon. Pennsylvania and Ohio are both represented by Trilobites. New York has a less-familiar Eurypterid, a precursor to the earliest fishes, and Maine has gone out on a limb with an early vascular plant from the Devonian, Pertica quadrifaria.

Some of the State Fossils are a little generic, like Georgia's unspecified shark's tooth, but Illinois is represented by the unique and mysterious Tully Monster, Tullimonstrum gregarium from the Carboniferous swamplands.

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