DINOSAUR DISCOVERIES IN NORTH AMERICA
- EARLY DINOSAUR HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES
- Where and when were dinosaur fossils first discovered in the United States?
- Where were the bones of an Anchisaurus first found in the United States?
- Where were the first dinosaur footprints found in the United States?
- What creatures did Edward Hitchcock think made the Connecticut dinosaur tracks?
- What was the first dinosaur track to be described?
- What early United States expedition mentioned a giant leg bone that was probably from a dinosaur?
- When were the first fossils found in the Western Hemisphere accurately identified as belonging to a dinosaur?
- Who first suggested that some dinosaurs were bipedal?
EARLY DINOSAUR HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES
Where and when were dinosaur fossils first discovered in the United States?
The first dinosaur fossils collected in the United States were discovered in 1787 in New Jersey by Caspar and Matelock Wistar of Philadelphia. They read a description of their findings before the American Philosophical Society in 1787, but the report of their discovery would not be published for 75 years.
Where were the bones of an Anchisaurus first found in the United States?
The Connecticut Valley of the northeastern United States was the scene of the first Anchisaurus discovery. Solomon Ellsworth, Jr. and Nathan Smith found the bones in 1818, but mistook the remains for human bones.
Where were the first dinosaur footprints found in the United States?
The first dinosaur footprints in the United States were found in 1800 by Pliny Moody (a student at Williams College) on his farm in Connecticut. Even though each footprint was about 1 foot (0.3 meters) long, scientists from Yale and Harvard Universities theorized that the dinosaur prints were the footprints of Noahs Raven, in reference to the great flood from the Bible.
What creatures did Edward Hitchcock think made the Connecticut dinosaur tracks?
In the mid-1800s, Edward Hitchcock was a clergyman and president of Amherst College, Massachusetts. In 1836, six years before the term dinosaur was coined,
Hitchcock presented a paper describing the footprints in stone found in the Connecticut Valley. He collected over 20,000 of these fossil footprints during his life-time, and organized the worlds largest collection at Amherst College. He believed giant birds made the tracks, not lizards or reptiles.
What was the first dinosaur track to be described?
The first dinosaur track to be described anywhere was a three-toed track from the east bank of the Connecticut River near Holyoke, Massachusetts. This large footprint cast was originally named Orinithichnites giganteus, but was later renamed Eubrontes giganteus. A lithograph of this track was incorporated into William Bucklands Bridgewater Treatise in 1836.
The first dinosaur track, similar to this one, was officially described in the early nineteenth century and was discovered near Holyoke, Massachusetts (iStock).
What early United States expedition mentioned a giant leg bone that was probably from a dinosaur?
The early United States expedition was that of army officers Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) the two explorers sent out by President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Coast. In 1806 the explorers recorded finding a giant leg bone near Billings, Montana; it was almost certainly that of a dinosaur.
When were the first fossils found in the Western Hemisphere accurately identified as belonging to a dinosaur?
In 1856, American paleontologist Joseph Leidy (1823-1891), professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania, accurately identified several fossil bones as being those of dinosaurs. These fossil remains were among the first to be collected in the western United States by an official geological survey team in 1855. The bones were found in what is now Montana. The remains were mostly fossil teeth and were subsequently shown to be from Trachodon and Deinodon dinosaurs.
Who first suggested that some dinosaurs were bipedal?
Originally, dinosaurs were thought of as either giant, sprawling lizards, or bulky, quadrupedal reptiles with some mammal-like features. But, in 1858, American paleontologist Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) described an almost complete skeleton discovered by W.P. Foulke in Haddonfield, New Jersey. The fossil skeleton, named a
Hadrosaurus, was more complete than any yet discovered. It also indicated that the dinosaur was bipedal a radical notion for its time.