The North Carolina legislature is dealing with some issues crucial to the future of the state, which has caused some issues deemed not quite as important to be put on hold.
Such is a bill State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) had drafted to make the hypsibema the official state dinosaur for North Carolina.
Hardister’s bill, which he says won’t be introduced until the long session in 2021, is in response to a letter he received from Avery Mitcham, a fourth grade student at Alamance Elementary School.
In the letter to Hardister, Mitcham states, “I believe North Carolina should have a state dinosaur. It should be the Hypsibema, a dinosaur with duck billed mouths. My first reason is because this dinosaur’s fossils were found in Sampson County, North Carolina in 1869. My second reason is because Hypsibema is also the state dinosaur of Missouri so it must be a good dinosaur. My last reason is the fossils have only been found in Missouri and North Carolina so it needs to be the state dinosaur of North Carolina too. Now you can clearly see why North Carolina needs a state dinosaur.”
Hardister responded, “Thank you very much for contacting me. I am very impressed with your idea of a State Dinosaur. Your reasons in favor of the Hypsibema are very persuasive.”
The result is that Hardister sent the information to the legislative staff and had a bill entitled, “An Act Adopting an Official Dinosaur of the State of North Carolina,” drafted.
The bill itself goes into a little more detail, stating, “Whereas, in 1869, state geologist, Washington Carruthers Kerr, discovered the bones of a duck-billed dinosaur known as Hypsibema in a marl pit on Six Runs Creek in Sampson County.”
The bill also notes that the hypsibema was a herbivore and that once lived in North Carolina and that fossils of the hypsibema crassicauda have only been found in the state of North Carolina.
For those who are wondering, the Missouri state dinosaur is the hypsibema missouriensis.