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Suciasaurus rex named Washington state's official dinosaur

Cherry blossoms at the state capitol building in Olympia on March 31, 2022. (Louise Gessner / KOMO #SoNorthwest Photography)
Cherry blossoms at the state capitol building in Olympia on March 31, 2022. (Louise Gessner / KOMO #SoNorthwest Photography)
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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 last week. The legislation finally passed after four years of efforts by Rep. Melanie Morgan (D-Parkland).

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.

Morgan sponsored the bill starting in 2019 at the suggestion of a group of fourth graders in her district.

“Today’s victory is a teachable moment, that change takes time," Rep. Melanie Morgan. Just as it took millions of years for evolution to bring us here and decades for students to gain equal access to education, we must recognize that making a bill into law takes time."

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.”

"In a fast-paced world of technology, we must not forget the importance of patience and persistence to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in the legislative process,” said Rep. Morgan.

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Inslee on Thursday also recognized eighth-grader Athena Tauscher as “Washingtonian of the Day” for her work on the bill.

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