Tully Monster

The Tully Monster is the Illinois State Fossil. It was discovered in 1958 by Francis Tully, fossil collector from Lockport, IL. He found a fossil he had never seen before near the Braidwood strip mines. He took it to Chicago to the Field Museum of Natural History. Paleontologists there had never seen this creature before. They called it “Tully’s monster.” Because it is unique to Illinois and dates back to Pennsylvania Period 300 million years ago, a Committee of paleontologists from the Illinois State Geological Survey lobbied the State legislature to have it designated as the state fossil. So Tully Monster became the Illinois State Fossil in 1989. This was a soft-bodies marine animal with no shell or backbone. Its long body tapered at both ends. At the front was a long snout with a jaw with 8 tiny teeth. At the other end was a tail and two fins. Two eyes on stalks stuck out sideways near the front of the body. It probably lived near the bottom of the ocean, feeding on jellyfish and shrimp.

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