Reptiles and Dinosaurs
Age - Cretaceous Commonality - Scarce
Although New Jersey does not have a state fossil, we do have a state dinosaur, Hadrosaurus foulkii. In 1858, a dinosaur skeleton was unearthed in Haddonfield, NJ; the first full dinosaur skeleton found in North America and, in 1868, Hadrosaurus foulkii became the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton. Hadrosaurus have their own group of distinguishing characteristics which included broad toothless beaks (giving them the name duckbilled) and large batteries of teeth. These batteries often had hundreds of teeth, all fitted together to form massive grinding surfaces. As these diamond shaped teeth wore down they were replaced by new ones. I found this tooth at the end of a rather unproductive trip one New Years Eve day. With my feet too cold to stay in the water any longer I decided to scan the gravel banks. I picked this up and had to give it a long look before I realized what I had.
A view of the grinding surface, these diamond shaped teeth interlocked
together to form a grinding plate. This particular tooth is missing the root.
Scale 1 inch
Monmouth County, NJ
An individual hadrosaurus had upwards of 1500 to 2000 teeth.
The original specimen of Hadrosaurus foulkii,
is housed at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel
In 1994 the Hadrosaurus
discovery site was
John Giannotti's Hadrosaurus foulkii sculpture was unveiled on
Oct. 18, 2003