Hadrosaurus

Hadrosaurus

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Hadrosaurus
is a valid genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of hadrosaurid
Hadrosaurid
Hadrosaurids or duck-billed dinosaurs are members of the family Hadrosauridae, and include ornithopods such as Edmontosaurus and Parasaurolophus. They were common herbivores in the Upper Cretaceous Period of what are now Asia, Europe and North America. They are descendants of the Upper...

 dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

. In 1858, a skeleton
Skeleton
The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body.In a figurative sense, skeleton can...

 of a dinosaur from this genus was the first dinosaur skeleton known from more than isolated teeth to be found in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. In 1868, it became the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton. Hadrosaurus foulkii is the only species in this genus and has been the official state dinosaur of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 since 1991.

Description


Hadrosaurus lived in what is now New Jersey, in the late Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 period. It was likely biped
Biped
Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs, or legs. An animal or machine that usually moves in a bipedal manner is known as a biped , meaning "two feet"...

al for the purposes of running, but could use its forelegs to support itself while feeding—like all hadrosaurids, Hadrosaurus was herbivorous.

Discovery


In 1838, John Estaugh Hopkins was digging in a marl
Marl
Marl or marlstone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and aragonite. Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay...

 pit (on a small tributary of the Cooper River
Cooper River (New Jersey)
The Cooper River is a tributary of the Delaware River in southwestern New Jersey in the United States.The confluence of the Cooper River with the Delaware River is in Camden...

 in Haddonfield, New Jersey
Haddonfield, New Jersey
Haddonfield is a borough located in Camden County, New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough had a total population of 11,593....

, and part of the Campanian
Campanian
The Campanian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the fifth of six ages of the Late Cretaceous epoch . The Campanian spans the time from 83.5 ± 0.7 Ma to 70.6 ± 0.6 Ma ...

-age Woodbury Formation
Woodbury Formation
The Woodbury Formation is a Mesozoic geologic formation. Dinosaur remains diagnostic to the genus level are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.-See also:* List of dinosaur-bearing rock formations...

) when he uncovered large bones, putting them on display at his home, also in Haddonfield. In 1858 these bones sparked the interest of a visitor, William Parker Foulke
William Parker Foulke
William Parker Foulke discovered the first full dinosaur skeleton in North America in Haddonfield, New Jersey in 1858....

. The skeleton was dug out from the marl pit in 1858 by Foulke. The excavation site, known as the Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site
Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site
Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site in Haddonfield, New Jersey is where the first relatively complete set of dinosaur bones were discovered in 1838, and then fully excavated by William Parker Foulke in 1858. The dinosaur was later named Hadrosaurus foulkii by Joseph Leidy...

, is now a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

. Foulke contacted paleontologist
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

 Joseph Leidy
Joseph Leidy
Joseph Leidy was an American paleontologist.Leidy was professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania, and later was a professor of natural history at Swarthmore College. His book Extinct Fauna of Dakota and Nebraska contained many species not previously described and many previously...

, and together they recovered an almost complete set of limbs, along with a pelvis, several part of the feet, twenty-eight vertebrae (including eighteen from the tail), eight teeth and two small parts of the jaw. Foulke and Leidy studied the fossils together, and in 1858 Leidy formally described and named Hadrosaurus foulkii in honor of his collaborator.

Leidy recognized that these bones were from a dinosaur by their similarity to those of Iguanodon
Iguanodon
Iguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that lived roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal hypsilophodontids and the ornithopods' culmination in the duck-billed dinosaurs...

, discovered in England some decades before, but the skeleton of Hadrosaurus was far more complete. Leidy's monograph Cretaceous Reptiles of the United States, describing Hadrosaurus more completely and with illustrations, was written in 1860 but the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 delayed its publication until 1865. Leidy reconstructed Hadrosaurus as a biped, in contrast to the view at the time that such dinosaurs were quadruped
Quadruped
Quadrupedalism is a form of land animal locomotion using four limbs or legs. An animal or machine that usually moves in a quadrupedal manner is known as a quadruped, meaning "four feet"...

al. The entire skeleton was completely assembled in 1868 by a team including English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 sculptor
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 and naturalist
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was an English sculptor and natural history artist renowned for combining both in his work on the life-size models of dinosaurs in the Crystal Palace Park, Sydenham, south London...

 and was put on display at Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. The skeleton is usually kept 'behind-the-scenes' in the Academy's collections. However, from November 22, 2008 until April 19, 2009, a fully assembled cast of the skeleton and an exhibit about the science and culture surrounding the dinosaur's discovery was open to the public.
Despite the fact that the family Hadrosauridae has Hadrosaurus as its type genus
Type genus
In biological classification, a type genus is a representative genus, as with regard to a biological family. The term and concept is used much more often and much more formally in zoology than it is in botany, and the definition is dependent on the nomenclatural Code that applies:* In zoological...

, the skeleton lacks a skull and is too incomplete to compare to other hadrosaurines for classification purposes, leading most scientists to consider it a nomen dubium, or dubious name. When the skeleton was first assembled, it was displayed with a plaster skull sculpted by Hawkins. Many other artists have recreated Hadrosaurus with skulls from other, related species such as Gryposaurus
Gryposaurus
Gryposaurus was a genus of duckbilled dinosaur that lived about 83 to 75.5 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous of North America...

and Brachylophosaurus
Brachylophosaurus
Brachylophosaurus was a mid-sized member of the hadrosaurid family of dinosaurs. It is known from several skeletons and bonebed material from the Judith River Formation of Montana and the Oldman Formation of Alberta, living about 76.5 million years ago....

.

A statue of Hadrosaurus, sculpted by Haddonfield resident John Giannotti, now stands in the center of the town of Haddonfield, commemorating its discovery there.

External links