JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A bill designating a 35-foot-long creature with 1,000 teeth as Missouri's official state dinosaur cleared the House on Monday.
The Hypsibema missouriensis -- pronounced hip-suh-BEE-muh mi-zur-ee-EN-sis -- was a type of hadrosaur believed to have inhabited Southeast Missouri 67 million years ago.
Naming an official dinosaur will be an "important educational tool for kids all over the state," said Rep. Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, whose bill now advances to the Senate.
Hadrosaur fossils have been discovered around North America, including in New Jersey.
Missouri's official dino-designate would have laid its eggs in a coastal plain -- and southern Missouri, 67 million years ago, may have been less than 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
Dinosaur bill is HB1209.
On the Net:
Missouri Legislature: http://www.moga.state.mo.us