The Parasaurolophus was a dinosaur that lived between 76-73 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period. Also called duck-billed dinosaurs, they exist in three universally recognized species. These species are Parasaurolophus walkeri , Parasaurolophus tubicen and Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus.Parasaurolophus is famous for its bizarre ornaments which include the large cranial crest it has. He was both biped and quadruped. However, to travel long distances, he could not use the two hind legs alone, he had to use all four legs. Parasaurolophus lived in present-day North America. Dr. William Parks discovered his first remains in Alberta, Canada, in 1922. They consisted of a partial skeleton and a skull. Other remains have been found in Utah (USA) and in Heilongjiang (China). The name “parasaurolophus” comes from a Greek word “near a crested lizard”.
The Parasaurolophus was an adrosauride. It has been estimated to be 4 meters high and 10 meters high with a weight of 3-5 tons. The crest on his head brought out the rest of the dinosaurs. The function of the crest was unknown to most paleontologists. However, they suggested that it could be used for thermoregulation, acoustic resonance and / or visual recognition. The crest was made of nasal bones and premaxilla. It was hollow and had distinct tubes running through it up to each nostril, then to the end of the crest and to the skull. Some species of Parasaurolophus had long ridges while others had short ones. The Parasaurolophus had a medium intelligence. Parasaurolophus walkeri is said to have scales on the skin similar to invariant tubercles.
Diet and nutrition
Parasaurolophus were herbivorous dinosaurs that fed on vegetation. It could feed from the ground and on higher vegetation up to 4 meters high. Some of the foods they ate were ginkos, leaves and pine needles. It had a beak that was used to grow plants. The beak was held on the jaws by an organ similar to a cheek. Furthermore, Parasaurolophus’ jaw had hundreds of teeth packed into the batteries. The teeth have been continuously replaced during their lifetime. The skull of the Parasaurolophus could allow it to chew and grind food while it feeds. The dinosaur would use its two hind legs to run at a speed of 25 miles per hour to escape its predators.
The use of Crest for communication
More recently, scientists have shown that in addition to the other likely functions of the crest, it was also a communication tool. It has been used to identify the young, adult, male or female Parasaurolophus. The female and the young Parasaurolophus had shorter ridges than the adult and male Parasaurolophus. The ridges allowed them to make wonderful sounds as a way of communicating with each other. Males are believed to have had deeper voices than females.
Filming of the Parasaurolophus
Parasaurolophus has made appearances on various films such as Disney’s Dinosaur , Jurassic Park and Turok . In all these films, the dinosaur has played different roles. In Disney’s Dinosaur and Jurassic Park, he is a member of the pack while in the Turok as a docile plant eater.