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State Fossils
US State Fossils

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US Official State Fossils

Official State Fossil Designations of the 50 US States

Official State Fossils

A great place to start learning about fossils is right in your "backyard", with your official state fossil. This page lists all of the designated state fossils (and some official state dinosaurs and fossiliferous gem stones) as a launching point for learning about fossils in your state and neighboring states.

Do you know your official state fossil? If not find information on each US state fossil, state dinosaur, and state stone or gem that is a fossil! Includes images, descriptions, taxonomic hierarchy, and a history of the state fossils representing the state symbols for each of the 50 states. Lists their basic characteristics.

Fossils are any evidences of ancient life preserved in stone or other material. Fossils can include molds, casts, defecation material, stomach stones, bones, footprints, trails and burrows. Fossils can be preserved in sediments, tar pits, and amber, and are usually the result of being covered rapidly.

Every state in the United States has a State Bird and a State Flower, but not every state in the US has a State Fossil. California has chosen the Pleistocene Sabre-Toothed Cat, Smilodon fatalis familiar from the La Brea Tar Pits. And Alaska has the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. And, yes, there are the dinosaurs (Colorado's Plated Dinosaur, Stegosaurus stenops , New Jersey's Duckbilled Dinosaur, Hadrosaur Hadrosaurus foulki, or Montana's Duck-billed Dinosaur, Maiasaura peeblesorum, and even sets of dinosaur footprints (both Connecticut's Dinosaur Tracks and Massachusetts' Dinosaur Tracks). Nevada recalls its days as beachfront property with a Triassic Ichthyosaur, Shonisaurus popularis. Idaho has chosen an early horse Hagerman Horse Fossil, Equus simplicidens. Alabama's, Zeuglodon - whale and Mississippi's Prehistoric Whales are a pair of Eocene archaeocete whales, and Vermont has the most recent fossil, Charlotte, the Vermont Whale, a Beluga White Whale  (Delphinapterus leucas) from an arm of the sea that extended into Pleistocene Vermon. Pennsylvania's Trilobite and Ohio's Trilobite are both represented by Trilobites. New York has a less-familiar Sea Scorpion, Eurypterid, a precursor to the earliest fishes, and Maine has gone out on a limb with an early vascular Plant from the Devonian, Pertica quadrifaria.

Some of the State Fossils are generic, like Georgia's unspecified Shark Tooth, but Illinois is represented by a mysterious Tully Monster, Tullimonstrum gregarium from the Carboniferous swamplands.

State Symbols: Fossil - Species - Period - Adopted

Alabama

Zeuglodon - whale (Basilosaurus cetoides)
Period: Eocene
Alabama State Fossil - 1984

Alaska

Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primignius)
Period: Period: Pleistocene
Alaska State Fossil - 1986

Arizona

Petrified Wood (Araucarioxylon arizonicum)
Period: Triassic
Arizona State Fossil - 1988

Arkansas

NA

California

Sabre-Toothed Cat (Smilodon californicus)
Period: Pleistocene
California State Fossil - Sep 25, 1973

Colorado

Plated Dinosaur (Stegosaurus stenops )
Period: Jurassic
Colorado State Fossil - Apr 28, 1982

Connecticut

Dinosaur Tracks (Eubrontes giganteus)
Period: Triassic
Connecticut State Fossil - 1991

Delaware

Belemnite (Belemnitella americana)
Period: Cretaceous
Delaware State Fossil - Jul 2, 1996

Florida

Agatized Coral (Cnidaria anthozoa)
Period: Eocene
Florida State Stone - 1979

Georgia

Shark Tooth (undetermined)
Period: Tertiary
Georgia State Fossil - 1976

Hawaii

NA

Idaho

Hagerman Horse Fossil (Equus simplicidens )
Period: Pleistocene
Idaho State Fossil - Mar 16, 1988

Illinois

Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium )
Period: Carboniferous
Illinois State Fossil - 1989

Iowa

NA

Indiana

NA

Kansas

Pteranodon
Kansas State Flying Fossil - 2014

Kansas

Tylosaurus
Kansas State Marine Fossil - 2014

Kentucky

Brachiopod (undetermined)
Period: Paleozoic
Kentucky State Fossil - Jul 15, 1986

Louisiana

Petrified Palmwood (Palmoxylon sp.)
Period: Oligocene
Louisiana State Fossil - Jul 31, 1976

Maine

Plant (Pertica quadrifaria)
Period: Devonian
Maine State Fossil - 1985

Maryland

Snail (Exphora gardnerae garnerae)
Period: Miocene
State Fossil shell - Oct 1, 1994

Maryland

Sauropod Dinosaur (Astrodon johnstoni)
Period: Cretaceous
Maine State Dinosaur - Oct 1, 1998

Massachusetts

Dinosaur Tracks (undetermined)
Period: Triassic
Maryland State Fossil - 1980

Michigan

Mastodon (Mammut americanum)
Pliocene - Period: Pleistocene
Micigan State Fossil - Apr 8, 2002

Michigan

Petoskey Stone-coral (Hexagonaria pericarnata)
Period: Devonian
Michigan State Stone - Jun 28, 1965

Minnesota

NA

Mississippi

Prehistoric Whales (Basilosaurus cetoides Zygorhiza kochii)
Period: Eocene
Mississippi State Fossil - Mar 26, 1981

Mississippi

Petrified Wood (undetermined)
Period: Oligocene
Mississippi State Stone - May 14, 1976

Missouri

Crinoidea (Delocrinus missouriensis)
Period: Carboniferous
Missouri State Fossil - Jun 16, 1989

Montana

Duck-billed Dinosaur (Maiasaura peeblesorum)
Period: Cretaceous
Montana State Fossil - Feb 22, 1985

Nebraska

Mammoth (Elephas primigenius; Elephas columbi ;Elephas imperator)
Period: Pleistocene
Nebraska State Fossil - Mar 1, 1967

New Hampshire

NA

Nevada

Ichthyosaur (Shonisaurus sp).
Period: Triassic
Nevada State Fossil - 1977

New Jersey

Duckbilled Dinosaur (Hadrosaurus foulki )
Period: Cretaceous
New Jersey State Dinosaur - Jun 13, 1991

New Mexico

Coelophysis Dinosaur (Coelophysis bauri )
Period: Triassic
New Mexico State Fossil - Mar 17, 1981

New York

Sea Scorpion (Eurypterus remipes)
Period: Silurian
New York State Fossil -1984

North Carolina

Fossilized teeth - megalodon shark (Disputed; Carcharodon or †Carcharocles C. megalodon)
Period: Cenozoic
North Carolina State Fossil - 2013

North Dakota

Teredo Petrified Wood (undetermined)
Period: Paleocene
North Dakota State Fossil - 1967

Ohio

Trilobite (Isotelus sp.)
Period: Ordovician
Ohio State Invertebrate Fossil - Jun 20, 1985

Oklahoma

Theropod Dinosaur (Saurophaganax maximus)
Period: Jurassic
Oklahoma State Fossil - Apr 14, 2000

Oregon

Metasequoia (undetermined)
Period: Miocene
Oregon State Fossil - May 4, 2005

Pennsylvania

Trilobite (Phacops rana )
Period: Devonian
Pennsylvania State Fossil - Dec 5, 1988

South Carolina

NA

South Dakota

Triceratops Dinosaur (Triceratops prorosus)
Period: Cretaceous
South Dakota State Fossil - 1988

Rhode Island

NA

Tennessee

Bivalve Mollusc (Pterotrigonia thoracica)
Period: Cretaceous
Tennessee State Fossil - 1998

Texas

Sauropod dinosaur (Pleurocoelus)
Period: Cretaceous
Texas State Dinosaur (old) - Jun 3, 1997

Texas

The quadrupedal sauropodi  (Paluxysaurus jonesi)
Texas State Dinosaur (new)
Period: Cretaceous
Pleurocoelus replaced by Paluxysaurus jonesi
as the State Dinosaur on June 19, 2009

Texas

Petrified Palmwood (Palmoxylon sp.)
Period: Oligocene

Texas State Stone - Mar 26, 1969

Utah

Theropod Dinosaur (Allosaurus  fragilis )
Period: Jurassic
Utah State Fossil - 1988

Vermont

White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas)
Period: Pleistocene
Vermont State Fossil Marine - Jun 6, 1993

Vermont

Mount Holly mammoth tooth and tusk (Elephas primigenius)
Period: Pleistocene
Vermont State Terrestrial fossil - 2014

Virginia

Bivalve Scallop (Chesapecten jeffersonius)
Pliocene
Virginia State Fossil - 1993

Washington

Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi)
Period: Pleistocene
Washington State Fossil - 1998

Washington

Petrified Wood (undetermined)
Period: Miocene
Washington State Gem - Mar 12, 1975

West Virginia

Chalcedony (Lithostrotionella)
Period: Mississippian
West Virginia State Gem - Mar 10, 1990

West Virginia

Ground Sloth (Megalonyx Jeffersonnii)
Period: Pleistocene
West Virginia State Fossil
- 2008

Wisconsin

Trilobite (Calymene celera)
Period: Silurian
Wisconsin State Fossil - Apr 2, 1986

Wyoming

Horned Dinosaur (Triceratops)
Period: Cretaceous
Wyoming state Dinosaur - Mar 18, 1994.

Wyoming

Fish (Knightia sp.)
Period: Eocene
Wyoming State Fossil - Feb18, 1987

 

State Fossils
State Fossils
Most US states have made a state fossil designation, in many cases during the 1980s. It is common to designate one species in which fossilization has occurred, rather than a single specimen, or a category of fossils not limited to a single species.

Some states that lack a "state fossil" have nevertheless singled out a fossil for formal designation such as a state dinosaur, rock, gem or stone.
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