World's First Dinosaur Skeleton Discovered Here
Haddonfield, New Jersey
In October 2003, a statue was erected in downtown Haddonfield commemorating the World's First Dinosaur Skeleton Discovery in October, 1858. The Hadrosaurus foulkii was the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton found, and the first to be mounted for public display (partial skeletons and fossils were discovered earlier in England, where the term "dinosaur" was coined in the 1820s). The Haddonfield find sparked the start of the field of dinosaur paleontology, and can probably be blamed for the profusion of life-size dinosaur statues across America.
The Hadrosaurus statue is an 8-ft. tall, 18-ft. long bronze created by sculptor John Giannotti and commissioned by the town. Though the dinosaur seems poised to menace sidewalk shoppers, locals know that duck-billed Haddy was a harmless herbivore. The Hadrosaurus is the state fossil of New Jersey! Does your state have a fossil too? (Kids -- ask a parent.)
A plaque and stone marker commemorate the original discovery site in nearby Hadrosaurus Park, east of Grove Street at the end of Maple Avenue. The park is adjacent to the ravine where the bones were discovered buried in clay-like marl deposits, along a small creek known as Hadrosaurus Run. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in October 1995.