1. Tethys says

    I think the stromatolite is the obvious choice. Proterozoic life forms that created massive iron formations are just as cool as dinosaurs.

    The photo at the link appears to be an Ordovician specimen , which originate from multiple horizons in marine limestones. The specimens that come out of the Mary Ellen iron mines are gemstone grade red jasper and hematite. Collemia undosa is it’s scientific name. I recommend an image search. It’s preservation is superb, and it is beautiful too.

  2. Erp says

    I’m inclined towards the Trilobite.
    Now whether they do much with whatever they choose is another matter. My mother’s home village makes much of their fossil; it was the first recognized iguanodon fossil (I gather village parades usually have an iguanodon in it and information about it is the first thing you see when entering the village museum). The fossil itself is now in New Zealand

  3. mailliw says

    Apparently Minnesota has a state butterfly and a state bee, but no state spider. Surely this is an urgent issue for you PZ?

  4. maireaine46 says

    Crow Shark gets my vote. No idea what it really looked like, but I picture a very smart shark swooping down from the trees.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Crow shark reminds me of the ‘ice sharks’ in the novel ‘Redshirts’.
    That is enough to get my vote.
    Unless you find some cool soft-tissue fossils, in a layer preserved from the Ediacaran era..
    If your local politicians are dominated by charlatans and liars, you need to choose ‘Piltdown man” in their honor!

  6. pilgham says

    They’re all good candidates, but I have to vote Stromatolite. I’m not sure if they qualify though as I thought Minnesota has living ones. Still it’s pretty rare while you can find most of the others all over the place. Also Mary Ellen Jasper sounds like an old republican so the joke works.

  7. jimzy says

    Something ancient and that would have fundamentalists up in arms. Stromatolite at 1.9BYa would be my first choice with Dikelocephalus minnesotensis a close second.