Now Playing

California Now Has an Official State Dinosaur Who Isn’t Jerry Brown

Move over grizzlies and golden poppies, the Augustynolophus morrisi is here.


Over the weekend, a fossilized remnant of another era honored a dinosaur.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill written by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica that named Augustynolophus morrisi the state of California’s official dinosaur.

Fossil remains of the dinosaur, which lived 66 million years ago, were discovered between 1939 and 1940 in Fresno County by William J. Morris and Gretchen Augustyn, for whom the species is named. According to the bill, scientists originally mistook the the dinosaur for a member of an already-known genus—Saurolophus—but a later study determined it to be a separate species. Two specimens are held in the Dinosaur Hall of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, where busloads of visitors come see it every day.

The duck-billed creature joins several dozen other official California things including the official California soil (San Joaquin), official California gemstone (Benitoite), the official California grass (Purple needlegrass), and the official California complaint (parking).

A vegetarian who changed its name, moved from the middle of nowhere to LA, and become a star, the dinosaur is actually a pretty good symbol of our home state—at least better than purple needlegrass is.

Let’s just hope it has had rent control for those last 66 million years.


Have feedback? Email us at
Email Scott Lucas at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Scott Lucas on Twitter @ScottLucas86