News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by

Quiz: How well do you know California's obscure state symbols?

A rendering of how scientists think the Augustynolophus morrisi dinosaur looked.
A rendering of how scientists think the Augustynolophus morrisi dinosaur looked.
Rep. Richard H. Bloom / Twitter

Listen to story

Download this story 5MB

While California lawmakers are waiting for Governor Brown to sign a stack of bills into law, one such bill has managed to make it past his desk. The Augustynolophus morrisi bill declares California's first official dinosaur. 

It turns out, California has dozens of these "official state fill-in-the-blanks" and some appear to be kind of random such as our state lichen (hint: rock moss is a type of lichen).  

So, what's the point of having an official, written-in-law, list of state symbols?

It's mostly about celebrating what is uniquely characteristic to California. That's why some of them are more obvious and well known. For example, the state animal is the California Grizzly Bear and the state flower is the Golden Poppy because both are distinctly Californian. 

Some of the more confusing items are the state amphibian, prehistoric artifact gold rush ghost town, silver rush ghost town, tall ship and, state fife and drum band, just to name a few. 

Take our mini-quiz, "Official or Artificial?" and test your knowledge of California's state symbols. And when you're done, check out the full list of California state designations. (No peeking beforehand!) 

If you think California is missing an important state symbol, you can submit your suggestion to your local assemblymember or state senator. 

To hear Take Two's Josie Huang and Julia Paskin play "Official or Artificial," click on the media player above.