Giant beaver wins Science Museum contest to become Minnesota’s state f…

A giant prehistoric beaver is poised to become Minnesota’s state fossil.

Castoroides ohioensis, a relative of modern beavers that was as big as a black bear, won a months-long contest for the title orchestrated by the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, which announced the outcome on Wednesday — which happens to be National Fossil Day.

More than 11,000 people cast votes for their favorite fossil, with the giant beaver besting a field of eight rivals that included ancient species of bison, shark and crocodile — all of which have been found fossilized in Minnesota, according to the Science Museum.

The Castoroides ohioensis specimen housed in the museum’s collection was discovered right here in St. Paul and is estimated to be 2.58 million years to 10,150 years old.

The museum now plans to advocate for the giant beaver to be enshrined as the state fossil during the 2022 state legislative session.

It won’t be the first time the issue has been debated at the Capitol. A bill to make the giant beaver the state fossil was introduced in the 1988 legislature, but it failed to pass.

Minnesota is one of only seven states without a state fossil.

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