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cartoon of Baby Hadrosaurus
Baby Hadrosaurus
cartoon of Professor Foulkii visiting Haddonfield  site
Visiting my ancestors
cartoon of class trip to Haddonfield's Municipal Building
The Municipal Building where we took class trips to learn more about our town
cartoon of gazebo in Haddonfiled
The gazebo where my friends and I loved to hang out when we were about your age!
cartoon of visit to Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield
With Grandma Foulkii at the Indian King Tavern, where I learned about our country's great past
cartoon of Professor Foulkii at the Haddonfield Fire Department
The day I got to ride the Haddonfield fire truck through town!

The Hadro Story

Hi, Kids!

I want to share my family history with you, since my great, great, great-grandfather is pretty famous. I am just one descendent of the Hadrosaurus Foulkii family. William Parker Foulke, a paleontologist (dinosaur scientist) from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, discovered the first Hadrosaurus dinosaur many, many years ago in 1858. He found dinosaur fossils (bones) in a marl pit on a farm in Haddonfield, New Jersey (what I like to think of as the birthplace of my family). Not only was this the first dinosaur to be found in the United States, but it was also the first and most complete dinosaur skeleton to be put on display anywhere in the world! Pretty impressive, huh?

The display was made public in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Scientists from all over the world came to see my great, great, great-grandfather. This led to thousands of people visiting the Academy, and interest in dinosaurs grew very quickly. A replica of his skeleton is also on display in the NJ State Museum in Trenton, New Jersey. View a video of Ned Gilmore from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences showing the actual bones (requires the free Real Player plugin).

Before 1858, scientists knew about large fossils and were aware that some type of large creature once existed, but they did not have enough fossils to form a skeleton. So the discovery in Haddonfield opened the door to paleontology.

Studies show that the first Hadrosaurus was an amphibious creature, living around the river's edge or around swamps. At that time, the climate in New Jersey was tropical- very hot and very humid all year long. I don't consider myself amphibious, although you can find me at the Jersey shore all summer long, catching some rays for a nice tan!

Hadrosaurus Foulkii is Latin for "Foulke's bulky lizard." Bulky? Humph! I prefer to describe us as well-rounded! We dinosaurs just like to eat!

But let me continue telling you about my family history. Since my great, great, great-grandfather was found in Haddonfield, my family decided that this was the place to live and raise little dinos. We had roots (and fossils) here. I wouldn't want to have been born anywhere else! My greatest memories from childhood took place here. I just love this town.

I was made an honorary citizen in 1971 and was given the key to the city by Mayor Eugene Hinski and seven-year-old town resident Jean Wolfe in a ceremony at the Philadelphia Zoo. I think my great, great, great-grandfather would have been proud.

In 1991, a bill requested by the 4th grade class at Haddon Township's Strawbridge Elementary School was approved, making the Hadrosaurus Foulkii New Jersey's official state dinosaur!

I guess you can say that I have an exciting and unique family history. I feel lucky to be a descendant of such an important dinosaur. But I feel even luckier to be able to teach you about the first Hadrosaurus Foulkii dinosaur and to share with you all that I've learned about the world and New Jersey.

If you'd like to learn more about me or other New Jersey dinosaurs, an excellent book is When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey by William B. Gallagher, Rutgers University Press, 1997. It's great for Middle School kids and above. It should be available at your local library, or if you would like to order a hard cover or paperback copy, ask your local bookstore. Dr. Gallagher, the book's author, is the registrar of natural history at the New Jersey State Museum and a visiting speaker in dinosaur paleontology at Rutgers University. If you'd like to learn more about my family, explore the Hadrosaurus Foulki Web site.


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