Thanks to Delegate Mike Burdiss (Wyoming County) and Senator Roman Prezioso (Marion County), the State Legislature passed the resolution to designate Megalonyx jeffersonii the official State Fossil of West Virginia.
These toe bones of the Magalonyx jeffersoni were found in western Virginia. In 1797 newly elected vice-president of the United States and president of the American Philosophical Society, Thomas Jefferson presented the bones and a report on the megalonyx or "great claw" to the society. The study of these bones is said to have marked the start of technical vertebrate paleontology in the United States. In 1822 the animal was given the name Megalonyx Jeffersoni.
Frontispiece from First across the continent; the story of the exploring expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1803-4-5, · Brooks, Noah, 1830-1903 · 1902, c1901 · Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.