Massachusetts citizens vote on official state dinosaur
BOSTON (AP) — The people of Massachusetts have spoken and selected an official state dinosaur.
Podokesaurus holyokensis received more than 60% of the roughy 35,000 votes cast in a social media campaign started last month by state Rep. Jack Lewis, besting the other choice, Anchisaurus polyselus.
The winner was announced during a live virtual event Thursday hosted by Boston’s Museum of Science.
Lewis, a Framingham Democrat, was inspired to select a state dinosaur by one of his children’s Cub Scouts dens, which was studying fossils. He said his goal was to teach children about the legislative process and spur interest in paleontology.
“I didn’t expect this kind of response and I am so, so grateful for it,” he said.
The legislation has been filed in both the House and Senate.
Fossils of both dinosaurs were discovered in Massachusetts.
Podokesaurus holyokensis, which means “swift-footed lizard of Holyoke,” was first discovered near Mount Holyoke in 1910 by Mignon Talbot, the first woman to name and describe a dinosaur, according to Lewis.
Anchisaurus polyzelus, which means “much sought after near lizard” was discovered in 1855 in Springfield.
About a dozen states already have official state dinosaurs, Lewis said.