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Michigan Earth Symbols

Michigan Earth SymbolsLeft to right: Petoskey stone, mastodon, and chlorastrolite.

Michigan’s earth symbols include two fossils. While mammoths represent several states stretching from Alaska to South Carolina, Michiganians declared the mastodon their state fossil.

One of the most complete mastodon skeletons ever found was discovered near Owosso, Michigan. The most sensational trail of mastodon footprints ever found was discovered near Ann Arbor.

Michigan’s official stone, the Petoskey stone, is also a fossil. Commonly found on beaches and in sand dunes, it is the fossilized remains of a coral that lived about 350 million years ago.

The city of Petoskey was named after an Ottawa Indian chief, Pet-O-Sega. (The name means “rays of the rising sun.”) The eye of the Petoskey stone is likened to the sun, with the lines or tentacles seen as the sun’s rays.

Michigan’s official gem is chlorastrolite, also called greenstone, or Isle Royale greenstone. It displays a pattern somewhat similar to the Petoskey stone.

Soil ˆ

Michigan’s most important symbol is arguably Kalkaska, its official soil.

First mapped in 1927, Kalkaska soils were formed in sandy deposits left by the glaciers that covered Michigan during the Pleistocene (“Ice Age”). They occur in both the upper and lower peninsulas. However, they are most closely identified with Kalkaska County.

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