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Bill would designate ‘elegant sea lily’ as state fossil

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Two senators hope a bill to designate an official state fossil will prompt people to look deeper into Indiana history.

Senate Bill 114 would add the elegant sea lily to Indiana’s list of official items, which also include a state insect and a state pie.

Republican Phil Boots of Crawfordsville and Democrat Mark Stoops of Bloomington have authored the legislation. But the bill has been assigned to the Senate rules committee and is unlikely to gain traction.

State geologist John Steinmetz says the elegant sea lily was discovered in the Crawfordsville area in 1865.

Decayed sea lilies make up the foundation of limestone. Stoops notes that Indiana’s limestone industry generates millions of dollars and employs thousands of Hoosiers. He says that makes the tiny creature perfect as the state’s fossil.