TOPEKA, Kansas — Two creatures dating to the period when Kansas was a vast ocean are a step closer to receiving designation as the state's official fossils.
The measure, which received tentative approval Wednesday on a 93-23 vote, would name the tylosaurus and the pteranodon (TEAR-un-don) as the official fossils, joining the western meadowlark, ornate box turtle and bison as official state animals and reptiles.
The tylosaurus was a large sea creature that hunted the ocean that covered Kansas more than 80 million years ago. While it patrolled the waters, the pteranodon roamed the skies. Fossils have been found in the chalk hills in western Kansas. Examples of the tylosaurus are on display at museums in Hays and Lawrence.
A juvenile tylosaurus is scheduled to be on display Thursday at the Statehouse.