Take That, Brachiosaur Sauropod, Pleurocoelus!

Texas gets new state dinosaur

Rare sighting of the Tuffysaurus Rex
Rare sighting of the Tuffysaurus Rex

It's been a bad week for the "Young Earth" crowd: First State Board of Education Chair Don Mcleroy has his nomination implode beneath him, leaving Gov. Rick Perry searching for a replacement nominee. Then the House designates a brand new state dinosaur (which, of course, implies they believe that dinosaurs existed.)

As befits such a weighty issue, HCR 16 author Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, was flanked by two dinosaurs (Rep. Mark Homer, D-Paris, sporting a charming green ensemble, and Rep. Tuffy Hamilton, R-Mauriceville, resplendent in purple with red spots.)

So why the change? In 1997, the 75th Legislature declared Brachiosaur Sauropod, Pleurocoelus, as the official Lone Star State Dinosaur after it bones were found in the state. But in 2007, as any paleontologist worth their salt knows, those bones were re-identified as being from Paluxysaurus Jonesi. Of course, legislators were eager to correct this basal titanosauriform-related goof. And, you know, any excuse to wear a dinosaur suit on the floor.

Of course, this was a massively controversial measure: Goergetown GOPer Dan Gattis was concerned that the dinosaur in question, and its fossilized footprints, were actually outside of the state. "Not only a carpet bagger, but went back to New York," he railed. He then challenged Geren, "Can you pronunciate (sic) every word in your resolution?"

Ever the stickler, Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, R-Killeen, raised technical amendments, first asking if it was named after Rep. Delwin Jones ("It's his father," Geren drolly replied) and about the cause of death ("Could be doc (Anderson) took care of him," said Geren.)

Rep. Dennis Bonnen simply asked, would it be appropriate to keep asking questions until Homer passed out?

The resolution finally passed 132-1 (only Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, held the line for Brachiosaur Sauropod, Pleurocoelus.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

81st Legislature, State Board of Education, Texas House of Representatives, Evolution, Brachiosaur Sauropod Pleurocoelus, Paluxysaurus Jonesi

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