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BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers could choose a 500-million-year-old species known as a crinoid as the state’s officially recognized fossil.

Geologists have called Burlington the “crinoid capital of the world” since its home to more than 300 species, which are similar to starfish or sea urchins.

Seven Senate Democrats introduced the resolution last week to establish the crinoid as the official state fossil, the Hawk Eye reported . The resolution said the crinoid has contributed to Iowa’s history and economic benefit, including “a significant portion of lime deposits” that has been used for roads, agriculture, buildings and raw materials.

Sens. Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City, William Dotzler of Waterloo, Robert Dvorsky of Coralville, Rich Taylor of Mount Pleasant, Kevin Kinney of Oxford, Chaz Allen of Newton and Nate Boulton of Des Moines sponsored the resolution.

It has been referred to the Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

If approved in the Senate and House, the crinoid would join Iowa’s Official Register along with other state symbols, like the goldfinch, rose and oak tree.

The Official Register, also known as the Redbook, contains historical and biographical information about the state’s governmental institutions and leaders, as well as information and statistics. It’s published every two years.

Crinoids can be found on display at the Heritage Center Museum in Burlington.


Information from: The Hawk Eye,