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Minutes for SB3 - Committee on Federal and State Affairs

Short Title

Designating Silvisaurus condrayi as the official state land fossil.

Minutes Content for Thu, Mar 9, 2023

Chairperson Carpenter opened the hearing on SB3.  The Revisor provided an overview on the bill. 

Chairperson Carpenter recognized Senator Elaine Bowers as a proponent of SB3 (Attachment 1)(Attachment 1A).  She introduced Joel Condray and his students from Goddard School District, who are here today to testify on this bill.  She stated that the Silvaurus condrayi land fossil was discovered in 1955 by Mr. Condray's grandfather on his pastureland in Ottawa County.  It was recognized as a new species in 1960 and is located today at the KU Natural History Museum in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Chairperson Carpenter recognized Senator Dan Kerschen who testified as a proponent on the bill (Attachment 2).

Chairperson Carpenter recognized Dr. David Burnham who testified in support of SB3 (Attachment 3).  He stated that it is important that the Silvisaurus be added as the state land fossil for Kansas because dinosaurs are extremely rare.  It had spikes on its shoulders and durable plates around its body.  The skull and much of the skeleton were recovered, making it one of the most unique and significant fossils of its kind.  All Kansans should be proud of this rare find which is unique to Kansas.

Joel Condray was recognized by Chairperson Carpenter as a proponent of SB3 (Attachment 4).  He stated that it was on his grandfather's farm in North Central Kansas that the Silvisaurus condrayi land fossil was discovered.  It is the most complete fossil that has ever been found anywhere on earth.   Based on footprints found, the Silvisaurus condrayi was an actual land dinosaur that walked the plains of what would become modern day Kansas, disproving the myths that the ocean was here.   Questions were asked by Representatives Sanders and Smith.

Craig Ryan testified in support of SB3 (Attachment 5).  He thanked the Committee for allowing Mr. Condray and the Goddard school children to appear before the Committee.

Chairperson Carpenter recognized Ava Mantanona as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 6).  She stated that Warren Condray discovered this fossil on his farm while he was trying to round up his cattle.  The discovery of this dinosaur adds immeasurably to our state's rich history and heritage.  A question was asked by Representative Bergkamp.

Zach Liedl testified as a proponent of SB3 (Attachment 7).  He stated that this dinosaur was a herbivore and was thought to be about 13 feet in length and weighed about 2,000 pounds.  It has been studied by scientists around the world.  Questions were asked by Representatives Smith, Humphries, and Sanders.

Chairperson Carpenter recognized Sophia Phillips who testified in support of SB3 (Attachment 8).  She thanked the Committee for allowing the students to speak and to be a part of the legislative process first-hand.  It is an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives.  Questions and comments were made by Representatives Sanders, Garber, Howell, and Clayton.

Senator Bowers made some closing remarks.

Dr. Burnham stated that the scientists have not been able to trace where the Silvisaurus may have roamed, but no other fragments of this dinosaur have been found in any other state so it is uniquely a Kansas fossil. 

Chairperson Carpenter closed the hearing on SB3

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:34 a.m.