Washington now has a state dinosaur - the Suciasaurus rex

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill proclaiming Suciasaurus rex as Washington’s official state dinosaur.

A large, two-legged, meat-eating therapod once roamed Washington state, as paleontologists discovered in 2012.

Paleontologists at the Burke with dinosaur bone found in Washington state
Photo courtesy Burke Museum

They found a partial thigh bone for a dinosaur similar to but smaller than a Tyrannosaurus on the shores of Sucia Island State Park.

The Burke Museum reported that "The fossil is a partial left thigh bone of a theropod dinosaur, the group of two-legged, meat-eating dinosaurs that includes Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds. It was found along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands.

"The fossil is approximately 80 million years old and is from the Late Cretaceous period. During that time, the rocks that today form Sucia Island were likely further south. How much further south is a topic of scientific debate, with locations ranging between present day Baja California, Mexico, and northern California. Earthquakes and other geologic forces that constantly reshape our planet moved the rocks north to their present-day location."

A decade later, a class project to teach kids how a bill becomes a law led to Gov. Jay Inslee signing a bill to proclaim the Suciasaurus rex as Washington’s official state dinosaur

Students from Elmhurst Elementary in Tacoma engaged their legislator Rep. Melanie Morgan to introduce the bill - both the students and Rep. Morgan were present for the signing.


Anonymous,  July 26, 2023 at 9:00 AM  

This Suciasaurus Rex didn't come from Washington. That island was located off the coast of California 65 million years ago when the asteroid hit and the dinosaur had been floating in the ocean before it came to rest on that island. Why make a dinosaur from California the state Dino for Washington?

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