Did You Hear? The State of Massachusetts Has Chosen Its Official Dinosaur
It’s official. The state of Massachusetts has its own dinosaur, and it’s the fast-moving, two-legged carnivore known as the Podekesaurus Holyokensis. Thanks to the efforts of MA State Representative Jack Lewis, children in Massachusetts got motivated about science and prehistory, leading to the state’s first-ever official dinosaur.
Where Did This Idea Come From?
When Representative Lewis’s son was trying to earn a “Digging in the Past” pin for his Cub Scout troop, he came up with the idea to file a bill for an official state dinosaur in hopes of getting kids more interested in science, prehistory, and the legislative process.
In 2021, he launched a state-wide poll, and the bill was officially filed in February of 2021.
In October of 2021, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to recognize the official dinosaur, and in May of this year, Governor Baker signed the bill.
Why a Podekesaurus Holyokensis?
Voters chose between two species of dinosaurs; the Podekesaurus Holyokensis and the Anchisaurus Polyzelus. They are the only two dinosaur species to have been excavated in Massachusetts to date. After receiving more than 60% of the roughly 35,000 votes cast, the Podekesaurus Holyokensis was the winner.
History of Massachusett’s Own Dinosaur
The Podekesauras Holyokensis is the first dinosaur to be named and described by a female scientist and paleontologist. Her name was Mignon Talbot and she was a professor of geology at Mount Holyoke College. While out for a walk with her sister in 1910, she discovered the bones near Mount Holyoke College.
Massachusetts and dinosaurs have a long history together, proven by the ancient fossils that act as a stamp in time for the state. Dinosaur Footprints of Pioneer Valley in Holyoke is home to over 800 fossils, so if you’re looking to learn more about “the swift lizard of Holyoke”, this may be a good place to start.