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Trilobites To Muskies: 'Milwaukee Record' Raises A Glass Of Milk To Wisconsin State Symbols

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Wisconsin's symbols go far beyond the badger — the trilobite reigns as the state fossil, the sugar maple is the official state tree, and the American water spaniel is Wisconsin’s state dog.";s:

Imagine you’re playing a trivia game at a bar. Your question: what’s the Wisconsin state animal? That seems like an easy question, especially if you grew up here. And if you answered “the badger,” you’re right. That is the official Wisconsin state animal. But here’s your follow up question: what seven other animals hold titles?

Milwaukee Record’s Tyler Maas didn’t know either, so he started digging through various state archives. He discovered an entire world of state symbols and icons he didn't know about.

"A lot [of Wisconsin's symbols] are in the animal kingdom," notes Maas. "There are about four or five in the food realm and you realize, like, I’ve been living my whole life with the knowledge that the badger was the animal but there’s like seven animals."

From the state's pastry, tree, fossil to a tartan — Maas wrote about his findings for Milwaukee Record. He sat down with Lake Effect’s Joy Powers to explain the symbols that go beyond the badger:

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.