State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced a bill that would give California its first official state dinosaur. The legislation, AB 1540, would honor Augustynolophus morissi, a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed California 66 million years ago.
“Dinosaurs are cool and highlighting a dinosaur that has such a deep connection to our state will stimulate interest in paleontology and science overall, particularly with children,” Bloom said in an announcement of the move from his office. “Having an interest in one branch of science often leads a child to be interested in other areas of science so this bill aligns with the investment we have made in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, also known as S.T.E.M, programs.”
If the legislature (and Gov. Jerry Brown) accept Bloom’s proposal, the duck-billed dinosaur (let’s call him “Ducky”) will join the California grizzly bear and the gray whale on the state’s list of official mammals. There also is a state bird, the California quail (Callipepla californica), a state reptile, the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), and a state butterfly, the California dog face (known as Colias eurydice or Zerene eurydice).
So that leads to this question: Should West Hollywood have its own official animal? Ours is a city known for its passion for dogs. After all, the City Council officially declared that dog owners are actually dog guardians, sort of a declaration of canine rights. The Council also has banned circuses from West Hollywood (a city they’ve never appeared in) and voted to condemn the dog meat market in Yulin, China.
If our official city animal were to be a dog, what breed would that be? And what other type of animal should the City Council consider, and why? Some in the gay community might endorse the otter. Other residents might suggest the cuckoo, or the stallion or the night owl.
Post your thoughts here, and if there’s some sort of a consensus, perhaps one of our elected representatives will put forward a proposal at a future City Council meeting.