The new California state dinosaur was officially designated Saturday when Gov. Jerry Brown — a political dinosaur “barely” younger than the extinct giant animal — signed a naming bill into law.
Even the Democratic Assemblyman from Santa Monica who authored the law couldn’t resist a humorous jab at the four-term, 79-year-old governor’s longevity.
He said he selected the weird-looking ancient duck-billed hadrosaur for the California honor because it is “a Native Californian, Los Angeles Resident, older than Jerry Brown (barely), vegetarian and firm believer in science.”
Richard Bloom introduced AB 1540 and created an official Twitter account @augustynolophus to promote “Auggie” as the state’s dinosaur.
California is known for having a grizzly bear as its state animal and a quail as its state bird but the new state dinosaur may be found at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Brown signed into law the bill designating the duck-billed hadrosaur Augustynolophus morrisi as the state’s official dinosaur. Now nine states and Washington D.C. have official state dinosaurs.
The only two known fossil specimens of the dinosaur nicknamed “Auggie” are in the museum’s Dinosaur Hall.
The Auggie campaign was more than the search for another state symbol, Bloom said.
“California elementary school students are excited about the prospect of ‘Auggie’ becoming the State Dinosaur. ‘Auggie’ has already gotten children engaged in the legislative process and excited about paleontology.”
— City News Service