An event that was 66 million years in the making took place over the weekend near Rowan University.
The Gloucester County school broke ground on a $73 million dinosaur fossil park museum on the site of a prehistoric treasure trove of relics just a few miles from its campus in Glassboro.
The 44,000-square-foot facility in Mantua Township will perch above a former marl quarry where 66 million-year-old marine and terrestrial fossils have been found.
“We are building a museum like no other, on a fossil site of global importance that will connect visitors to the ancient past…and to Rowan University,” Kenneth Lacovara, dean of the school of Earth & Environment and director of the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park, said in a statement.
One of the museum’s planned exhibits will include a recreated Dryptosaurus, the first discovered tyrannosaur, which was found a mile from the Fossil Park site in 1866, and a 53-foot mosasaur, like one discovered at the fossil park site, a statement from the school said.
The Edelmans, Rowan alumni, “gave $25 million to develop it as a unique research ecosystem that supports scientific, undergraduate and ‘citizen science’ opportunities,” the statement said. “Pre-pandemic, the park hosted thousands of visitors per year, from school kids on bus trips to business people and community leaders, all of whom are drawn to the prospect of finding genuine, Late Cretaceous-era, fossils.”
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