Senator Mike Braun and Senator Gary Peters have introduced a bill to name a U.S. National Fossil, the mastodon.
Mastodon fossils are frequently found in Indiana and Michigan.
The mastodon lived more than 13,000 years ago in the Pleistocene era, predominantly on land that would eventually become the United States of America. A fully grown mastodon was over 10 feet tall, weighed more than 11 tons, and was preceded by pair of 16-foot-long tusks. Unlike its distant cousin the mammoth, the mastodon was found exclusively in the United States, with its bones being unearthed in every state across the continental U.S.
“Mastodons embody the spirit of exploration, resilience, and strength that exemplifies our great nation. As a uniquely American symbol, mastodons inspire us to embrace our heritage and to protect natural treasures that define our country.” – Senator Mike Braun
“Michigan made history when we uncovered one of the most complete skeletons of the Mastodon ever found, and we continue to find traces of this prehistoric giant all throughout our state,” said Senator Peters. “The Mastodon represents a unique piece of both Michigan’s and our nation’s history. By establishing the Mastodon as our national fossil, we can better preserve that history and inspire a new generation of scientists and researchers to continue their pursuit of discovery.”
The National Fossil Act:
· Section 1 designates the bill as the National Fossil Act.
· Section 2 establishes findings on the role of the Mastodon in American public life.
· Section 3 designates the Mastodon as the national fossil under Title 36 U.S. Code, and makes necessary conforming amendments.