Happy Colorado Day! Here Are The Stories Behind Our State Bird, Dance And Fossil

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Photo: Square Dancing
Square dancers at the national square dance convention in Dallas, Texas, swing their partners, April 9, 1954.

Some state symbols for Colorado are obvious—the native bighorn sheep as the state animal, or the columbine as the state flower, for example. Others take a bit more background. Take the Centennial State bird (the lark bunting), folk dance (square dancing) and fossil (Stegosaurus).

Colorado Life Magazine editor Matt Masich talked to Colorado Matters about the three-way battle for the state bird title, how a Colorado native helped pull square dancing back from the brink of extinction and why the Stegosaurus fossil found in Morrison was housed at an out-of-state museum for a 100 years before finally making it back to Colorado.