OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED STATE FOSSILS
Recently, while working up my post on the state fossil of California (see my Dec. 3, 2023 post on the saber-tooth Smilodon fatalis), I became curious as to what are the other state fossils of the United States.
I used the following excellent website (which lists the fossil names and also provides an illustration of each fossil:
I discovered that most states have an official state fossil, but only four do not: Arkansas, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Three other states: Iowa, Minnesota, and New Hampshire were formerly holdouts, but recently they tentatively proposed state fossils.
Most of the state fossils were designated as such in the 1980’s, and most of these state fossils are vertebrates (dinosaurs or mammoths).
A few states designated fossil mollusks as their state fossils; these are:
Maryland: shallow-marine gastropod Ecphora garderae of Miocene age.
Tennessee: shallow-marine bivalve Pterotrigonia thoracic of Cretaceous age.
Virginia: shallow-marine bivalve (pectinid = scallop) Chesapecten jeffersonius of Cenozoic age.
Furthermore I discovered that elsewhere in North America, only Nova Scotia in Canada has an official fossil: Hylonomus lyelli, a lizard-like reptile of Carboniferous age .