Kansas lawmakers pass bill to name state fossils

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators have given final approval to a bill designating a winged dinosaur and an ancient sea creature as the state’s official fossils.

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the measure honoring the flying pteranodon (tuh-RAN-uh-don) and the sea-roaming tylosaurus. They roamed what is now Kansas during the Cretaceous Period, from 145 million to 66 million years ago, when a giant sea covered the area.

The House approved the bill last month, so the Senate’s action sends the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback. His office at the Statehouse is displaying a fossil of a juvenile cousin of the tylosaurus.

If Brownback signs the bill, the fossils will join the western meadowlark, ornate box turtle and bison as state symbols.

Fossil hunters and natural history museums pushed for the legislation.

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