What is the State Dinosaur of New Jersey?

New Jersey, known for its rich history and diverse landscape, has a unique feature that sets it apart from other states – it’s the home of a state dinosaur. Yes, you heard it right! The New Jersey state dinosaur, Hadrosaurus foulkii, is an integral part of the state’s cultural and scientific heritage.

The discovery of this dinosaur dates back to 1858 in the town of Haddonfield, earning it the nickname, the “Haddonfield dinosaur”. This monumental find marked a significant turning point in our understanding of these prehistoric creatures, as it was the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton ever discovered. The fossils found in Haddonfield have since contributed significantly to our knowledge about dinosaurs and their existence.

Haddonfield: The Birthplace of Dinosaurs in America

Haddonfield, New Jersey, is a historic town that holds a special place in the world of paleontology. It’s where William Parker Foulke unearthed the first almost-complete dinosaur skeleton in the world, which later became known as Hadrosaurus foulkii. This Haddonfield dinosaur discovery played a crucial role in proving that dinosaurs were real and not just mythical creatures.

Hadrosaurus foulkii: The NJ Dinosaur

The NJ dinosaur, Hadrosaurus foulkii, was a herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, around 80 million years ago. It was a large creature, measuring up to 25 feet long and weighing as much as two tons. Unlike many other dinosaurs of its time, Hadrosaurus foulkii was bipedal, meaning it could stand and walk on its hind legs.

The discovery of the Hadrosaurus foulkii in New Jersey revolutionized our understanding of these creatures. It challenged previous assumptions about dinosaur anatomy and behavior, leading to a more accurate depiction of these fascinating creatures.

Fossils in New Jersey

Fossils in New Jersey are not limited to the Hadrosaurus foulkii. The state is rich in fossil deposits that span millions of years, offering a glimpse into the prehistoric past. From marine fossils dating back to the Jurassic period to ice age mammal fossils, New Jersey is a treasure trove for paleontologists and fossil enthusiasts alike.

The Dinosaurs of New Jersey

Apart from the Hadrosaurus foulkii, several other dinosaurs of New Jersey have been discovered over the years. These include the Dryptosaurus, a carnivorous dinosaur, and the Mosasaurus, a giant marine reptile. Each of these discoveries has added to the rich tapestry of New Jersey’s prehistoric history, making it a significant location in the world of paleontology.

Dinosaur Museum NJ: A Journey into the Past

To explore the state’s prehistoric past, one must visit the dinosaur museum in NJ. The New Jersey State Museum in Trenton houses an impressive collection of dinosaur and other prehistoric fossils, including those of the Hadrosaurus foulkii. The museum offers an immersive experience, allowing visitors to step back in time and walk among the dinosaurs.

NJ State Dinosaur: An Icon of New Jersey

In 1991, the Hadrosaurus foulkii was officially designated as the NJ state dinosaur after a campaign led by a group of elementary school students. The designation not only recognizes the historical and scientific significance of the Hadrosaurus foulkii but also celebrates New Jersey’s contributions to paleontology.

New Jersey Fossils: A Window into the Past

New Jersey fossils offer a unique window into the past, revealing the diverse creatures that once roamed this region. From dinosaurs like the Hadrosaurus foulkii to marine reptiles and ice age mammals, these fossils tell a story of a time long gone, making New Jersey a fascinating destination for history and science enthusiasts.


The story of the state dinosaur of New Jersey, the Hadrosaurus foulkii, is more than just about a prehistoric creature. It’s a tale of discovery, scientific advancement, and a testament to the rich prehistoric heritage of New Jersey. Whether you’re a dinosaur enthusiast, a history buff, or just curious,

Leave a Comment