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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 12 History

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hcr12 intr

(By Delegates Burdiss, Crosier, Caputo, Klempa, Tansill, Guthrie, Stephens, Staggers, Hamilton, Browning, Ellis,

Spencer, Wells, Hatfield, Higgins, Moye and D. Poling)

Designating Megalonyx Jeffersonii as the official state fossil.

Whereas, No fossil has been designated as the official state fossil for the State of West Virginia; and
Whereas, Interest in fossils and paleontology has become increasingly widespread throughout the citizenry of this state, there currently being fossil, rock and gem clubs already organized in the counties of Cabell, Harrison, Kanawha and Wood; and
Whereas, In 1797, President Thomas Jefferson obtained and described fossil bones from a limestone cave in what is now Monroe County; and
Whereas, These bones were again described by Casper Wistar in 1799 as the bones of a giant extinct ground sloth; and
Whereas, Wistar named the bones as a new species, Megalonyx Jeffersonnii, in honor of President Jefferson; and
Whereas, The bones are from the Ice Age or Pleistocene Epoch which lasted from 10,000 to 1.8 million years ago; and
Whereas, The designation of a state fossil would aid in the promotion of interest in geology, paleontology and history; and
Whereas, The bones afford an opportunity for special studies in American, State, and natural history for the students of the state; and
Whereas, Thirty-nine of the fifty states have an official state fossil; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the fossil Megalonyx Jeffersonnii be declared and hereby designated as the official fossil of the State of West Virginia; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates is hereby requested to forward official copies of this resolution to the citizens and schools in the state.
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