For millions of years, Californians got along just fine without a state dinosaur, but, there was an emptiness inside the residents of the Golden State. And despite the La Brea Tar Pits and a few plaster dinosaurs alongside the 10 Freeway, that wasn't enough to satiate the public's lust for all things dinosaur.
And so Hollywood set to work - creating classics like The Land Before Time, DINOSAURS (that ABC TV show from the 90's) and Jurassic Park (and all its itinerant sequels), which they hoped might satisfy California residents' need for two story lizards doing battle.
However, one California Assemblymember thinks there might be a better way. That's why Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced AB 1540, which would make the Augustynolophus morissi (a duck-billed dinosaur that lived in what is now California 66 million years ago) the state's official dinosaur.
The would-be state dinosaur already has an official twitter account lobbying for the bill. In the Augustynolophus's bio, he describes himself as a "Native Californian, Los Angeles resident, older than Jerry Brown (barely), vegetarian, and firm believer in science."
As it happens, California DOES have a state fossil - the Smilodon californicus, which was a form of Saber-tooth tiger that probably had to deal with their own form of traffic 40 million years ago.
If the bill passes, the state would join 8 others in the nation who also have state dinosaurs. Those states include Colorado (Stegosaurus Armatus), Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni), Missouri (Hypsibema Missourienesis), New Jersey (Hadrosaurus Foulkii), Oklahoma (Acrocanthosaurus atokensis), Texas (Paluxysaurus Jonesi), Washington D.C. (Capitalsaurus), and Wyoming (Triceratops).