Assemblymember Bloom’s State Dinosaur Bill Passes Key Senate Committee
SACRAMENTO – Today, the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization unanimously approved AB 1540, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), to designate Augustynolophus morrisi as the state’s official dinosaur.
“Today, Augustynolophus morrisi, known by some as ‘Auggie’, took one step closer to becoming California’s official state dinosaur and joining the 39 other state insignia in California,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom.
Augustynolophus morrisi, a duck billed dinosaur that roamed California 66 million years ago, belongs to a family of dinosaurs known scientifically as Hadrosauridae and colloquially as "Duckbill Dinosaurs”. Its fossils were first unearthed in1939 in the Moreno Formation of Fresno County and have only been found in California. Augustynolophus roamed California during the Maastrichtian Age, making it a contemporary of other well-known dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops. Its fossils are the most complete set of dinosaur fossils to be found in the state and include skull material, which allowed scientist to reconstruct a more accurate picture of its appearance.
In addition to its unique role in California’s prehistoric past, its name also honors two notable Californians: Dr. William J. Morris (1923–2000), a geologist and paleontologist responsible for most of the dinosaur discoveries along the western coast of North America, and Mrs. Gretchen Augustyn, a long-time supporter of the Natural History Museum and former Trustee for the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology.
“Over the past several months, we have received a tremendous amount of support from students excited about having a state dinosaur, which is an incredible testament to the ability of something as simple as a state dinosaur to excite the minds and imaginations of students around the state,” said Assemblymember Bloom.
AB 1540 is now headed to a vote before the State Senate.
Attachment: Photograph of bill supporters who testified at hearing: Dr. Luis Chiappe (Vice president of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County & Director of the Dinosaur Institute), Karol McQueary (President of the Southern California Paleontological Society), and 6th grade student Llandyn Lubs and family
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.