Did you know that Benjamin Franklin examined the first dinosaur bone in America from Woodbury, Gloucester County, in 1787--decades before the word dinosaur was even coined? Or that when the first reasonably complete dinosaur skeleton in the world was unearthed in Haddonfield, Camden County, in 1858, it was a major scientific breakthrough which forced paleontologists to completely revise their picture of dinosaur anatomy? Few people know that New Jersey is the nursery of American vertebrate paleontology!
When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey provides a succinct and readable history of the geology and paleontology of New Jersey from the time the region was covered by Cambrian seas, 543 million years ago, to the Pleistocene Ice Age only 10-15,000 years ago. William Gallagher tells the stories of professional and amateur fossil hunters, their discoveries, and their impact on the history of paleontological thought. He points out places in New Jersey and nearby where specimens characteristic of each era were found. He shows how fossil evidence found in the state is helping paleontologists uncover the ecological interactions and behavior of dinosaurs, and discusses such ongoing scientific controversies as the reason for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
From tracking dinosaur footprints across the Newark basin, to digging for the last dinosaurs in the greensands of South Jersey, to finding a mushroom in ancient amber in East Brunswick, this book is the ideal introduction to the Garden State's fossils and prehistory.