The Dinohunters

A History of Dinosaur Hunting and Reconstruction

Main menu: Home | Mantell | Hunters | Discoveries | Contact |

The New Jersey Hadrosaurus 1858

The teeth which Joseph Leidy had identified in 1856 were genuine enough, but were poor evidence of dinosaurs in North America.  Much better evidence turned up in 1858 when several large bones were discovered at Haddonfield, New Jersey.

The discovery comprised limbs, vertebrae, jaw fragments and teeth belonging to a huge dinosaur   which Leidy recognized as being similar to Iguanodon.   It was named Hadrosaurus foulkii after its discoverer William Parker Foulke.

Leidy also noted the difference between the short front legs and the powerful hindlegs, concluding that 'this great extinct herbivorous lizard may have been in the habit of browsing, sustaining itself, kangaroo-like, in an erect position'.   This is the first suggestion anywhere that dinosaurs may have been bipedal.  It was a significant departure from the dinosaur image created by those heavyweight creatures in the grounds of Crystal Palace to a unique looking animal.

In 1865 - 7 years after the discovery - Leidy published a set of plates illustrating most of the hadrosaur bones.

dinosaur image

In 1868 Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins made a restoration of the skeleton for an ill-fated display in New York's Central Park (along similar lines to that in Sydenham Park, London).  Most of Hawkins American restorations were destroyed, but the Hadrosaurus survived and is displayed by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia ( where the original find had been housed).