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Lawmakers want to make the 'Suciasaurus rex' Washington state's official dinosaur

Lawmakers in Olympia want the 'Suciasaurus rex' to become Washington state's official dinosaur.

Editor's note: The above footage is from 2015 when the fossil first arrived at the Burke Museum. 

Washington would get an official state dinosaur under a proposal from lawmakers in Olympia. 

On March 25, a bill was introduced that would make the "Suciasaurus rex" the state dinosaur. 

The bill was introduced after the March 13 cutoff day to pass bills in their house of origin if they are not necessary to implement the budget. However, Jen Waldref, senior communications specialist for the House Democrats, said it may still get a hearing. No hearing date has been set. 

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. 

Researchers believe the dinosaur lived somewhere between Baja California, Mexico and northern California. The fossil may have been moved north to Washington along with a portion of the western edge of North America during the Late Cretaceous period, according to one hypothesis. 

“The fossil record of the west coast is very spotty when compared to the rich record of the interior of North America,” Brandon Peecook said in 2015. Peecook was a University of Washington graduate student back in 2015 and was one of the people to discover the fossil. “This specimen, though fragmentary, gives us insight into what the west coast was like 80 million years ago, plus it gets Washington into the dinosaur club!”

At the time, Washington state was the 37th where a dinosaur fossil was found. 

Though it doesn't yet have a state dinosaur, Washington state's official fossil is the Columbian Mammoth.  

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