Virginia State Fossil

I had heard about the bird (Cardinal), the flower/tree (Dogwood), the dog (American Fox Hound), and the insect (Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly), but who knew we had a state fossil ?

The Virginia State Fossil

And no surprise, it’s named after TJ: Chesapecten jeffersonius. As the first colony, it seems fitting that Virginia would be given the first fossil to be described from North America (by Martin Lister in 1687). In short, it’s a bivalve mollusc of a fossilized scallop that is over 4 million years old (dating to the Early Pliocene Epoch). Note: while not technically “local history,” I figured the TJ reference was close enough to be included in this blog.