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8 Official Symbols of Maryland State

How many of these Maryland state symbols are you familiar with?
  1. Bird | Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore oriole is a distinctive inhabitant of Maryland's suburban areas and parks. The Baltimore Oriole migrates north from Mexico and South America in the spring and returns south for the winter. The Oriole weaves bag-shaped hanging nests often found on shade trees and feeds on fruit, insects and nectar. The Baltimore oriole is also the mascot and namesake for Baltimore’s baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles. The Oriole Bird has been the mascot of the Baltimore Orioles since 1979.

  1. Reptile | Diamondback Terrapin
The official reptile of the state of Maryland is the diamondback terrapin. Diamondback terrapins are the only turtles adapted to live in brackish water, as such, you will find these turtles living in costal marshes in Maryland. Diamondback terrapins have made their way to mascot status, becoming the official mascot of The University of Maryland College Park. In addition to being the mascot, The University of Maryland College Park donates a portion of sale proceeds from their “Fear the Turtle” merchandise to fund terrapin conservation and research efforts.

  1. Flower | Black-eyed Susan
The Black-eyed Susan has been the official flower of Maryland since 1918 when it was designated the “Floral Emblem” of Maryland by the General Assembly. Black-eyed Susans are members of the sunflower family and are perennial daisies or coneflowers. They are native to the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains. The root of the black-eyed Susan is used in traditional and folk remedies to treat colds. These beautiful flowers are commonly found in fields and on roadsides, blooming between May and August.

  1. Gem | Patuxent River Stone
The Patuxent River Stone became the State Gem of Maryland effective October 1, 2004. This stone can only be found in Maryland and the colors of rent and yellow reflect the Maryland State Flag. Have you ever seen one of these stones around Maryland?

  1. Crustacean | Blue Crab
The Chesapeake Bay is famous for blue crabs, which Maryland designated its official state crustacean in 1989. Blue crabs are omnivores, eating both plants and animals, typically consuming thin-shelled bivalves, annelids, fish, plants and nearly any other item that they can find, including carrion. The blue crab's scientific name (Callinectes sapidus Rathbun) translates as "beautiful swimmer that is savory." In Maryland, blue crabs are the most valuable commercial fishery.

  1. Dessert | Smith Island Cake
The Smith Island Cake became the State Dessert of Maryland on October 1, 2008. Named after Smith Island, Maryland’s last inhabited island that is reachable only by boat, the Smith Island Cake consists of eight to ten layers of yellow cake with chocolate frosting between each layer and slathered over the whole. Many variations of the cake have evolved, both in flavors of the cake itself and frosting. Have you ever tried Smith Island Cake?

  1. Dinosaur | Astrodon johnstoni
Astrodon johnstoni was designated the state dinosaur of Maryland in 1998. Astrodon johnstoni, who were herbivores, lived in Maryland from 95 to 130 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous period. These giant sauropods weighed up to 20 tons. Astrodon johnstoni had small heads, long necks, long tails, and strong, solid legs. Fossilized teeth of the Astrodon johnstoni were found in Maryland in 1858, marking one of the earliest dinosaur finds in the country and the first in state.

  1. Fish | Rockfish
In 1965, Maryland designated rockfish, also called striped bass, as the official state fish. Between April and June, rivers feeding Chesapeake Bay provide spawning grounds for most Atlantic Coast rockfish because adult rockfish swim in the ocean but lay their eggs in fresh water. Rockfish that are born in the Bay spending their first 3 to 5 years there before migrating to the Atlantic where they may live up to 30 years.

Be sure to keep an eye out for these state symbols next time you’re out hiking or just driving around our great state of Maryland!