State Dinosaur

Augustynolophus Morrisi
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

Augustynolophus morrisi (au-gus-tine-o-LOAF-us MORE-iss-ee) roamed California about the same time as the better-known tyrannosaurus and triceratops who lived during the Maastrichtian Age (72.1 million to 66 million years ago). Only two fossil specimens of this dinosaur have ever been found – both in California. The first was discovered in 1939 in Fresno County and the second in San Benito County in 1941. A member of the hadrosaur family, A. morrisi was about 26 feet long, weighed about 3 tons, and was a vegetarian with a duck-shaped bill.

Its name honors two Californians: philanthropist Gretchen Augustyn and paleontologist Dr. William J. Morris. Both specimens can be seen at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

(Assembly Bill 1540, Chapter 264, 2017)

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