It's Dinosaur Day, and as a kid who grew up with Jurassic Park on constant rotation in the VCR, I love dinosaurs. But to my dismay, I've come to learn that Illinois, Iowa and most of Missouri is not native to dinosaurs. You see, a long, long time ago, in this particular galaxy, in this particular solar system, on this particular planet, in the general vicinity of what is now the Tri-State area, the land you and I call home... it was a gigantic body of water. Other than crocodiles, dinosaurs didn't spend much time in the water. We've got some pretty cool ancient fish, crustaceans, and amphibians. But no dinosaurs. The largest animal to roam these lands existed closer to our time, in fact walked with early humans, than it did to the age of the dinosaurs, and that's the Woolly Mammoth, over 63 million years AFTER the meteor that wiped out all the dinosaurs.

Youtube (via Z1DO4u)

Fortunately Missouri was the coast of that large sea, and was home to the lone dino found in the Show-Me-State, the Hypsibema missourienis, a type of Hadrosaur, a type of duck-billed dino. It is the official State Dinosaur of Missouri, one of only a handful of states to have a State Dinosaur, with Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming being the others.