Washington could have a state dinosaur thanks to 8th graders

Jan 12, 2023, 2:42 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 9:22 am
state dinosaur...
The Suciasaurus rex on display at Seattle's Burke Museum. (Burke Museum)
(Burke Museum)

The Suciasaurus rex once roamed the state of Washington 12 million years before the Tyrannosaurus rex, but it was just four years ago that fourth graders at Elmhurst Elementary in Parkland started pushing for it to become the official state dinosaur.

As a civics lesson, fourth-grade teacher Amy Cole got in contact with their district representative Melody Morgan to try to pass House Bill 1020 to make the Suciasaurus the state dinosaur. This will be the fourth time that the class has tried to get the bill to pass.

Pickleball, dinosaurs, and a state nickname: Lawmakers weigh trio of lighthearted bills

HB 1067 got close to passing in 2021, after getting moved out of committee and placed in the Rules Committee. For the 2022 session, it retained in its previous status, but was sent back to the Rules Committee for consideration where it went extinct.

“Some of these kids that were with me when I started this project are entering high school soon, and they are still engaged with the process,” Cole said.

While very few dinosaurs are found in Washington state due to the high proximity to an active tectonic plate boundary and the high degree of human development, the Suciasaurus was the only dinosaur to be found in the state.

A partial left femur of a theropod dinosaur – two-legged, meat eaters that include the Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex – was discovered by Burke Museum research associates in April 2012 at the Sucia Island state park in San Juan County. The fossil, 16.7 inches long and 8.7 inches wide, is from the Late Cretaceous period and is around 80 million years old, according to the museum.

“Will you support bringing the Suciasaurus rex out of extinction one more time?” Rep. Morgan asked in a public hearing in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations.

Washington would join 12 other states in having a designated state dinosaur, including: Arizona (Sonorasaurus); Arkansas (Arkansaurus); California (Augustynolophus); Colorado (Stegosaurus); Connecticut (Dilphosaurus); Maryland (Astrodon); Missouri (Hypsibema missouriensis); New Jersey (Hadrosaurus); Oklahoma (Acrocanthosaurus); Utah (Utahraptor); Wyoming (Triceratops); and Texas (Paluxysaurus). Washington, D.C., also has its own official dinosaur, aptly dubbed the Capitalsaurus.

The bill is scheduled for an executive session in the committee Jan. 17.

One kid said, “If this law does pass, that would be dino-tastic.”

Matt Markovich contributed to this report


Local News

weather parks...
L.B. Gilbert

Mount Rainer, national parks receive ‘record-setting’ $1.1 million

Washington’s National Park Fund announced that they were distributing $1.1 million to use at projects to improve the parks.
12 hours ago
safe place...
Bill Kaczaraba

Tacoma, Seattle businesses embrace ‘Safe Place Initiative’

It started with Seattle Police. Then Tacoma joined in. Now, local businesses and schools are embracing the Safe Place Initiative.
12 hours ago
L.B. Gilbert

Man had gun held to head during robbery at Silverdale ATM 

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man after he allegedly robbed someone at gunpoint in Silverdale Wednesday.
12 hours ago
FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Se...
Associated Press

Boeing to be arraigned in court over two Max jet crashes

Boeing representatives and relatives of some of the passengers killed in two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets will meet face-to-face in a Texas courtroom Thursday, where the aerospace giant will be arraigned on a criminal charge that it thought it had settled two years ago.
12 hours ago
L.B. Gilbert

Courts resume late fees for Seattle parking, traffic tickets

Starting Jan. 30, late fees will resume on all tickets past due, after being suspended in March 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic. 
12 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Washington could have a state dinosaur thanks to 8th graders