By Act No. 84-66, species Basilosaurus cetoides was declared the official State of Alabama Fossil in 1984.
In addition to naming the official fossil, the legislation also prohibits removal of any Basilosaurus cetoides fossil, in whole or in part, from the State of Alabama without prior written permission from the Governor of the State of Alabama.
A portion of the legislation is shown below:
WHEREAS, The Alabama Legislature notes that the ancient whale, Species Basilosaurus Cetoides, named after the forty million year old whale fossil was discovered in Washington County, Alabama; and
WHEREAS, This ancient whale fossil is most abundant in the State of Alabama, and two of the most comprehensive skeletons of the Species Basilosaurus Cetoides were discovered in Alabama, one discovered by Mr. Ronald "Bones" Rhoades and now located in the Red Mountain Museum, Birmingham, Alabama, and the second, a fifty-five foot skeletal exhibit, is on display in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; and
WHEREAS, The Alabama Legislature feels it is most appropriate that the interest in and study of this ancient aquatic mammal predator, with serrated posterior molars, be encouraged, and perpetuated for scientific and historical reasons; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE BOTH THEREOF CONCURRING that the Alabama Legislature does hereby designate as the official State of Alabama Fossil, the "Species Basilosaurus Cetoides."
RESOLVED FURTHER, That no fossil "Species Basilosaurus Cetoides" shall be removed from the State of Alabama in whole, or part, except by prior written permission of the Governor.
The following information was excerpted from the Unannotated Code of Alabama 1975, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 1-2-20.
Title 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS
Chapter 2 STATE SYMBOLS AND HONORS.
The Alabama Legislature does hereby designate as the official State of Alabama fossil the "Species Basilosaurus Cetoides."
No fossil "Species Basilosaurus Cetoides" shall be removed from the State of Alabama, in whole or in part, except by prior written approval of the Governor.
(Acts 1984, No. 84-66, p. 89.)
"Official State Fossil." Alabama Department of Archives and History. State of Alabama, 14 Jan 2010. Web. 1 May 2013.
"Unannotated Code of Alabama 1975." The Alabama Legislature. The State of Alabama. Web. 28 Apr 2013. .
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.
Official State Fossil: Alabama State Department of Archives and History: Official Symbols and Emblems of Alabama.
Basilosaurus cetoides: Alabama Humanities Foundation: Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Basilosaurus cetoides - Alabama's State Fossil: Alabama Museum of Natural History
Extinct Monsters: Basilosaurus: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Explore Our Collections: Basilosaurus: ExtinctMonsters.Net.
State fossils: Complete list of official state fossils from NETSTATE.COM
More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Alabama state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.
State Geosymbols: Geological Symbols of the United States, by Alan McPherson. 196 pages. Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing (October 5, 2011
From the tourmaline of Maine to the black coral of Hawaii, our state's official geological symbols or geosymbols are as uniquely diverse as the terrain and character of the 50 states themselves. In this reference book over 150 state geosymbols are presented with informative text that highlights their adoptive legislation, geologic and social history. Color photo montages add visual interest to the pages.
Stately Fossils: A Comprehensive Look at the State Fossils and Other Official Fossils, by Stephen Brusatte. 234 pages. Publisher: Fossil News (September 2002) The only book in print on the subject of state fossils, Stately Fossils offers an in-depth treatment of the natural and cultural history behind the official fossils of every state... and more! The book contains 80 photos and over 300 references to further information.
Stately Fossils is written clearly and informatively...it's a genuine slice of Americana! -- Allen Debus, Dinosaur World, March 2003.
This book should be on everyone's gift list...it is a handy reference, very well written and researched. -- Trilobite Tales, December 2003.
Fossils Tell of Long Ago: Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Stage 2., by Aliki Brandenberg. 32 pages. Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher (March 1, 1990) Reading level: Kindergarten-Grade 3.
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DK Eyewitness Books: Fossil, by Paul Taylor. 72 pages. Publisher: DK Publishing (August 2, 2004) Reading level: Ages 8+.
Here is an original and exciting new look at fossils - the remains of long-vanished animals and plants. Stunning real-life photographs of the spectacular remains of ancient lives offer a unique "eyewitness" view of what fossils are, how they were formed, and how they lived millions of years ago. See pearls that are 50 million years old, a dinosaur's toe, a troublesome "snake" that was turned to stone, a fossilized human being, and a snail made of precious stones. Learn how fossils are formed, how trilobites have been preserved for 590 million years, where to look for a belemnite, and how fossils helped the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Discover which are the most precious fossils in the world, where ammonites lived, how big mammoths were, what a devil's toenail looks like, and much, much more.
The Fossil Factory: A Kid's Guide to Digging Up Dinosaurs, Exploring Evolution, and Finding Fossils, by Niles, Gregory, and Douglas Eldredge. 112 pages. Publisher: Roberts Rinehart; Revised edition (July 23, 2002) Reading level: Ages 4-8
A fun and fact-filled activity book about discovering and collecting, about the history of the Earth, and the record of life we find on its surface, children will revel in this guide to over 50 sites where they can find something Paleozoic. Also included are a dozen amazing science activities and a complete guide to fossil hunting.
Fossils: The History of Life, by Richard Fortey. 256 pages. Publisher: Sterling (June 2, 2009)
This updated edition of the highly successful volume, created in conjunction with London’s Natural History Museum, has all the strengths of the original…and more. Completely redesigned and revised, it now features two fascinating new sections that reflect the contemporary state of the field: “How to Recognize Fossils” and “Molecular Paleontology.” Readers will find this a straightforward, fascinating, and highly attractive introduction to fossils, their study, and their use in reconstructing the history of the earth.
At the Water's Edge: Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea , by Carl Zimmer. 304 pages. Publisher: Free Press (September 8, 1999)
At the Water's Edge will change the way you think about your place in the world. The awesome journey of life's transformation from the first microbes 4 billion years ago to Homo sapiens today is an epic that we are only now beginning to grasp. Magnificent and bizarre, it is the story of how we got here, what we left behind, and what we brought with us.
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