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2009-04-16 – Philadelphia, USA: Hadrosaurus foulkii, America’s “first dinosaur” on display

America’s “first dinosaur” on display in Philadelphia until May 3

Hadrosaurus by Joseph Smit (1836-1929) from Nebula
to Man, 1905 England

Hadrosaurus foulkii doesn’t have the name recognition of a Tyrannosaurus rex, but this dinosaur made a profound impact on our view of dinosaurs today. Hadrosaurus is a hometown hero with literally deep roots in the Philadelphia area. Discovered in nearby Haddonfield New Jersey and first displayed at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Hadrosaurus foulkii led the migration of dinosaurs out of the ground, on display in museums, and into our imaginations.

Prior to the Civil War, little was known about the dinosaurs. In the summer of 1858, Philadelphia lawyer William Parker Foulke vacationed in Haddonfield New Jersey. While searching for fossils, Foulke discovered a collection of gigantic bones.

Foulke brought these bones to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, where they were examined by museum curator Joseph Leidy. As a professor of anatomy, Leidy recognized that the bones came from an unknown creature. At this time, the only evidence of dinosaurs came from a mismatched collection of bones and teeth.

The collection of bones discovered in Haddonfield New Jersey represented the most complete dinosaur skeleton of the time. Leidy named the newly discovered dinosaur, Hadrosaurus foulkii. The genus Hadrosaurus means “bulky lizard.”The species name foulkii was provided to honor William Parker Foulke.

10 years later, New York artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins assembled the bones into a mounted skeleton for the Academy. The completed skeleton debuted in November 1868, the first display of its kind. Today dinosaur skeletons are key attractions at natural history museums around the world.

The discovery of thousands of dinosaur fossils in the time since Hadrosaurus was first found on a farm in New Jersey, contributes to a more accurate representation of the dinosaur that was possible in 1868. You can view the reconstruction of Hadrosaurus foulkii on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia until May 3, 2009.


aprile 16, 2009 - Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, America Northern, An. Vertebrates, Mostre & Fiere, Musei, Paleontology / Paleontologia, Places | , , , , ,

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