What is the State Dinosaur of California?

California is known for a lot of things, and while prehistoric animals may be one of them, Dinosaurs are not. For most of the time of the dinosaurs California was under the ocean. So while there are ichthyosaur and mosasaur fossils found dinosaurs are in shorter supply. However, there have been a few discoveries, and one of those has found its self to be the state dinosaur of California.

The Augustynolophus is the State Dinosaur of California and was its adopted as such in 2017. After a campaign started Misha Tsukerman It was picked up by the legislature and within 18 months Augustynolophus was named as the state dinosaur joining the Sabre Tooth Tiger as California’s prehistoric symbols.

So while a visit to the brea tar pits and accompanying museum is definitely worth a visit, don’t expect to see a whole load of diseurs fossils there. In fact if you wanted to see California’s own state dinosaurs fossils the Augustynolophus, the only two in existence are in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles county.

What is the state dinosaur of california

Augustynolophus: The State Dinosaur of California

We have some quick facts about the California State dinosaur, the Augustynolophus below for you and have included the most important in a table to make access easier as well.

Augustynolophus Quick Facts

  • Augustynolophus measured up to 26 feet long (8 meters).
  • Augustynolophus Would likely have weighed up to 6600 lbs (3,000 Kg) making it large for a Hadrosaur.
  • Hadrosaurs like Augustynolophus, were specially evolved to be able to chew ( rather than bite and swallow) their food.
  • Augustynolophus name means Augustyn near saurolophus. it was named after supporters of the Los Angeles Museum and its similarity to the Saurolophus.
  • Augustynolophus is a very West Coast Dinosaur, it has only ever been found in California.
  • Augustynolophus was herbivorous, which means it ate plants.
  • it is one of the latest known dinosaurs, living 70 to 66 million years ago.
  • Augustynolophus became the state dinosaur for California in September 2017.
  • Augustynolophus is a little tricky to say. It has has 6 syllables and you say it like this. or – gus – teen – oh – loff – fuss
Dinosaur NameState Dinosaur ofLengthHeightWeightWhen LivedWhen and where Discovered
AugustynolophusCalifornia, 201726 feet (8 meters) 10 feet feet (3+ Meters) 6600 lbs (3,000kg)70- 66 million years agoCalifornia, 1939, 1943.

Why is Augustynolophus the State Dinosaur of California?

A campaign in 2016 was started by then law Student Misha Tsukerman, to look at the options for California to adopt a state dinosaur.

In what is almost light speed for the workings of government this had come to the attention of a Californian State Assembly member, Richard Bloom, who suggested that adopting an official state dinosaur to the, it has to be said, long list of state symbols of California would help to encourage all ages, but especially younger Californians, to take an interest in prehistoric world. paleontology and science.

Unlike a lot of bills that get passed through government this was uncontroversial and the Governor, Jerry Brown agreed with Richard Bloom and signed it into law in September 2017. california finally had its own state dinosaur – the Augustynolophus.

Despite being alive 66 million years ago it hasn’t stopped the Augustynolophus having a twitter account (we are not joking) and celebrating its adoption at the state dinosaur of California.

With Augustynolophus fossils, so far at least, only being found in California it makes a great option for the State dinosaur.

Unlike state dinosaurs for states like Delaware, Arizona and Wyoming which were heavily involved with their choices for dinosaur symbols, California proved that you are never to old to be thinking about dinosaurs, and we here at this site agree!

What is the state dinosaur of california

Where was Augustynolophus discovered?

Augustynolophus morrisi, to give this dinosaur its full name, is a true Californian, it has been found twice in the state, and nowhere else as of yet. Which quite probably accounts for it being the state dinosaur of California. It was first discovered in 1939 in Fresno County and then 2 years later a second was found in San Benito Country in 1941.

It was named in recognition of both the family who helped to maintain the Los Angeles Museum – Augustyn and the Paleontologist Dr William J. Morris. its remains are still in this museum today.

What is the State Dinosaur of California

It is one of only a few dinosaurs to be discovered in the state of california, another is the Aletopelta which was a smaller relative of the ankylosaurus and similarly armored. We have an article on the biggest armored dinosaurs here on the site.

What is the State Fossil of California?

While there may be limited dinosaurs to choose for the state dinosaur of California, there are certainly more fossils to pick for a state symbol. The tar pits have been a source of fossils for years and the state fossil is a regular find in there.

The state fossil of California is the sabre tooth tiger. This huge cat lived in California just like the Augustynolophus although it lived more recently. it went extinct just 10,000 years ago. It was the second most common fossil found

california state fossil

So while other states may have a greater number of dinosaurs to choose from for their state dinosaur, california has a long list of some of the coolest prehistoric animals for its state fossil! The Sabre Tooth Tiger, with those 8 inch teeth, is certainly the coolest of them all!

you can check out the other state dinosaurs, those that have adopted one as a state symbol, here in the following list.

You can also read more about State dinosaurs in our US State dinosaur page as well linked here and below.


So at last there is a state dinosaur of California, a gentle ( probably) hadrosaur called Augustynolophus morrisi that is one of the few dinosaurs ever discovered in state, and one that despite all the dinosaur movies being filmed there has never appeared in one! Surely that over site must be taken care of in the next Jurassic World movie!

Perhaps a twitter campaign started on the Augustynolophus own twitter account could help, first the state dinosaur of California and next Hollywood!


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