|Rutgers Geology Museum|
Around 1929-1930, discoveries were made of Cretaceous dinosaur tracks in New Jersey! In January 1929, the first set of tracks were found by men working in a pit at Hampton Cutter Clay Works in Woodbridge. The New Jersey State Museum made a valiant effort to save them at the time, but they were destroyed. However, not before they were photographed and sketched in the field by Meredith Johnson of the New Jersey Geological Survey. The notes he took recorded evidence of a large, three-toed, bipedal dinosaur! In 1930, in the same area, a second trackway was uncovered. This time, paleontologists from Rutgers University were sent in to the site. A single footprint was removed. This one track is now the one sole survivor on display at the Rutgers Geological Museum in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
|Photo by Gary Vecchiarelli|
In March of 1930, a third set of tracks were unearthered yet again! On this occasion, a team of geologists and paleontologist headed down to the area. Katherine Graywacz, of The New Jersey State Museum, renewed efforts in acquiring the trackways. While every effort was made to save the tracks using the tools of the trade, four were apparently removed and a fifth one was destroyed in the process. Dr. Barnum Brown of the American Museum of Natural History identified the tracks as that of a large carnivorous dinosaur. The famed paleontologist also noted at the time that these prints were the only surviving Cretaceous dinosaur tracks known east of the Mississippi.
|WHERE A DINOSAUR ONCE ROAMED c. 1930 Hampton Cutter clay pit.|
Gallagher, William B. When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1997. 67-69. Print.
Troeger, Virginia B., and Robert J. McEwen. Woodbridge: New Jersey's Oldest Township. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2002. 9-11. Print.