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LOGO - Wisconsin Geological Society IncTRANSPARENT (1).png
Calymene_celebra 1.jpg

The real Calymene Celebra - the state fossil of Wisconsin.  Photo from Wikipedia

Red Granite 1.jpg

A red granite slab (unpolished) from Redgranite, WI  a town and previous quarry of ... you guessed it.  Redgranite is west of Oshkosh and north of Madison.  Photo by Pierre Couture

Red Granite.jpg

Um, Didn't trilobites live in water?  it is over land...


Yes!  Trilobites are arthropods (hard shelled animals) that lived from the Cambrian Era (520 million years ago) to the Permian Era (250 million years ago).  They had 3 segments and many, many varieties - some up to 3 ft long.  Most lived in shallow water often walking along the bottom eating detritus floating down or preying on other animals.  Although Wisconsin is now known for its rich soil and farmlands, for much if its distant history, Wisconsin was underwater in a shallow sea with depths up to 100 ft

Is that even the correct state trilobite?

No!  The logo is a graphic artist's rendition of a stylized trilobite.  The actual state fossil of Wisconsin is the Calymene Celebra trilobite.  The logo hosts a trilobite with prominent and curving glabella (antennae like projections) which is more consistent with the Paradoxides family of trilobites.  Calymene Celebra (order Phacopia) was about 1-2 inches long with large circular eyes and no prominent front glabella.  In 1985, our club proposed that Calymene become the state fossil, and this was enacted by statute 162 (section 1.10) in 1986.  It was chosen as the Wisconsin state fossil because it is considered to be the most abundant trilobite in our area.   It lived ~ 444 - 420 million years ago and had 18-19 segments (not 12 segments as shown in the logo.)  As a fossil, Calymene is usually found rolled up into a little ball like an armadillo.  We went with the more fun loving, "party" trilobite as part of our logo. 

Why did you choose Red?

The red symbolizes the Wisconsin state rock which is red granite.  In 1971, the Kenosha Gem and Mineral Club proposed that red granite become the state rock.  It is quarried in several areas of the state for decorative and building material.  Granite is a coarse grained (the component mineral crystals that make up the rock are easily seen) igneous rock.  It typically has large amounts of quartz, feldspar, mica, and hornblende.  In Wisconsin, the granite takes a reddish tone because the potassium feldspar that makes up much of the rock, often hosts inclusions of hematite or iron oxides which appear red, pinkish, or orangish. 

Why did you choose Black?

The black symbolizes the Wisconsin state mineral which is galena, a lead sulfide.  In 1971, the Kenosha Gem and Mineral Club proposed that galena become the state mineral.  It was the main lead ore for the intense lead mining that occurred in the SW corner of Wisconsin during the 1820s and 1830s.  Mining jobs brought many people to the state and more people lived in the mining areas that in the the bigger cities like Milwaukee.  Tunnels and underground workings needed to mine galena and other lead or zinc ores were often also lived in by the miners.  This led to the miners being called "badgers" after the animal that also creates extensive underground burrows and tunnels.   Wisconsin is now called the Badger State and the Badger is the mascot of the University of Wisconsin.

So really the colors should have been more pink and gray?


A close-up of the actual texture of red granite (unpolished.) from the Red Granite Quarry.  Photo by Pierre Couture

Galena Dakota Matrix Minerals Tom Loomis.jpg

Galena (cubic with interpenetrant twinning) from Elmo Mine, Lafayette Co, Wi, USA.  Photo by Tom Loomis of Dakota Mineral Matrix

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