Assemblymember Bloom’s State Dinosaur Bill Passes Senate Floor Unanimously

Thursday, August 31, 2017

AB 1540 Now Heads to the Governor for Signature  


SACRAMENTO – California is one step closer to having a State Dinosaur today, after AB 1540 passed out of the State Senate on a 40-0 vote, crossing its penultimate legislative barrier to becoming law. The measure, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) would designate Augustynolophus morrisi, a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed California 66 million years ago, as the state’s official dinosaur.


“Last week, as Californians of all ages and backgrounds gazed at the solar eclipse, we were reminded that scientific events and insignia have a remarkable ability to inspire us,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “I believe Augustynolphus morrisi will similarly be a source of education and inspiration for countless Californians, particularly young people.”


Augustynolphus morrisi, affectionately dubbed “Auggie”, belongs to a family of dinosaurs known scientifically as Hadrosauridae and colloquially as “Duckbill Dinosaurs”. Its fossils were first unearthed in 1939 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.


AB 1540 now heads to the Governor for signature. 


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.