OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill designating the Suciasaurus rex as the official dinosaur of the state.
Inslee signed into law House Bill 1020 on Thursday, local television station KING5 reported.
The new law honors a therapod fossil discovered in 2012 at Sucia Island State Park in Washington’s San Juan Islands.
The fossil belonged to a therapod, a two-legged meat eater like the Velociraptor and the Tyrannosaurus rex, according to the Burke Museum. The fossil was a thigh bone slightly smaller than a T. rex’s. Because the fossil is incomplete, paleontologists weren’t able to identify its exact family or species.
Rep. Melanie Morgan, D-Parkland, sponsored the bill starting in 2019 at the suggestion of a group of fourth graders in her district.
The class at Elmhurst Elementary in the Franklin Pierce School District researched the dinosaur and how a bill becomes law and then brought the idea to Morgan’s office.
"Designating the Suciasaurus rex the state dinosaur has always been about civic engagement for our youth and their government," Morgan said in a statement after the bill passed the House. “Passing their Dino-mite bill shows that we value their opinions and their contributions to our communities.”
Inslee on Thursday also recognized eighth-grader Athena Tauscher as “Washingtonian of the Day” for her work on the bill.