Panel backs state dinosaur


ANNAPOLIS -- The state dinosaur lives.

A Senate committee yesterday voted to approve a bill recognizing Astrodon johnstoni as Maryland's state dinosaur. Sen. Arthur Dorman, D-Prince George's, sponsored the bill because Astrodon is peculiar to Maryland. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Remains of the beast, which roamed Maryland 130 million years ago, have been found in sand and gravel pits along the U.S. 1 corridor near Beltsville, Muirkirk and Bladensburg.

Not everyone has been supportive of Mr. Dorman's desire to see the Astrodon anointed. State Sen. Michael J. Collins, D-Baltimore County, had criticized the measure as frivolous and voted against it when it came before the Environmental and Economic Affairs Committee.

In other action, the Senate yesterday approved a measure by 36-9 vote that would require drivers operating their windshield wipers in rain, fog or snow to turn their headlights on as well. The bill is the brainchild of state Sen. William H. Amoss, D-Harford.

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