Skip to Main Content

Hadrosaurus sculpture.

Statue of World's First Dinosaur

Field review by the editors.

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.

Statue of World's First Dinosaur

Lantern Lane, Haddonfield, NJ
About a block from the High Speed Line station, on Kings Hwy where Chestnut St. connects, in Haddonfield's business district. If you're lucky, you'll find parking along the street.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

First Dinosaur DiscoveredFirst Dinosaur Discovered, Haddonfield, NJ - < 1 mi.
Muffler Man: Tire GuyMuffler Man: Tire Guy, Magnolia, NJ - 3 mi.
Mr. Softee Truck on RoofMr. Softee Truck on Roof, Runnemede, NJ - 3 mi.
In the region:
Ringing Rocks Park, Upper Black Eddy, PA - 46 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in New Jersey

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in New Jersey.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

New Jersey Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bloodstained Tomb of Nina Craigmiles, Cleveland, Tennessee (Apr 8-14, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights