DC has signature music, food and its own official dinosaur.
Forget images of massive digs like the one in the Jurassic Park movies, though. Apparently someone found part of a dinosaur vertebra and other bone fragments while excavating a sewer at First and F Streets SE in Capitol Hill in the late 1800s.
The bones were taken to Smithsonian scientists, but there was so little of it that paleontologists are still uncertain as to what this animal actually looked like. But since there was no agreement on the actual identity and classification of the bones, it was suggested that it was from a dinosaur unique to Washington, and the unofficial moniker Capitalsaurus was born.
More than a century after it was unearthed, there isn’t consensus on the actual identity of this prehistoric beast.
The official designation as the District’s official dinosaur is thanks to a group of fifth-grade students who enthusiastically lobbied City Hall to vote “yes” on vote “yes” on the Official Dinosaur Designation Act of 1998, Bill 12-538.
Today, January 28 is “Capitalsaurus Day” in D.C., marking the date the bones were presented to the Smithsonian. The block of F Street, SE where the fossil was discovered was formally dedicated as Capitalsaurus Court on January 28, 2000 (it’s the block that fronts Garfield Park).
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