Parasaurolophus Facts

Parasaurolophus Facts
Parasaurolophus was herbivorous dinosaur and member of a group of duck-billed dinosaurs. Despite the name of the group, Parasaurolophus is not closely related with modern ducks. There were three species of Parasaurolophus that lived 76 to 65 million years ago (late Cretaceous Period) on a territory of North America. Partial skeleton of Parasaurolophus was discovered for the first time in Alberta (Canada) in 1920, but it wasn't officially named and described until 1922. Aside from Canada, fossils of Parasaurolophus were found in Utah and New Mexico.
Interesting Parasaurolophus Facts:
Parasaurolophus was 31 feet long and it weighed 2.5 to 2.7 tons.
Parasaurolophus had narrow beak, robust body, well-developed arms and strong legs. The most prominent feature on the body was backward-oriented, curved, tubular crest on the head. Together with crest, head was nearly 6-feet-long.
Name "Parasaurolophus" means "near crested lizard" due to unusual crest on the head.
Size of the crest was useful identifier of young animals (smaller crest than in adults) and females (shorter than in males). Crest also played role in thermoregulation. Heat accumulated inside the crest during the day could have been used to prevent cooling of animal during the night.
Group of scientists have recently proved that crest of Parasaurolophus was useful tool used for communication. By using computer-model of a crest, they showed that crest can produce deep, resonating (fog-horn-like) noise when air circulates through the tubes in it.
Based on the anatomy of inner ear and crest of young and adult animals, researchers concluded that young Parasaurolophus was able to hear and produce sounds of high frequency, while adult animals used deeper "voices" for communication (similar transition of depth of voice happens in humans when they reach puberty).
Parasaurolophus skin was covered with tubercle-like scales, without any kind of prominent aggregations or protrusions.
Parasaurolophus was able to walk both on the hind legs and on all four legs.
Parasaurolophus used only hind legs for running (bipedal locomotion), especially when it had to escape from predators. It was able to reach the speed of 25 miles per hour, but it couldn't travel large distances at this speed.
Natural enemies of Parasaurolophus were different species of tyrannosaurids.
Parasaurolophus was a herbivore. Its diet was based on different types of leaves.
Parasaurolophus had hundreds of miniature teeth designed for fine grinding of plant material. Worn-out teeth in the front part of the mouth were subsequently replaced with newly formed teeth located in the back part of the mouth. Teeth replacement was continuous process. It lasted throughout the life of this dinosaurs.
Parasaurolophus was diurnal animal (active during the day).
Parasaurolophus probably lived in herds.
Parasaurolophus is featured in animated movie "Dinosaur", TV series "Land Before Time" and popular movie "Jurassic Park".

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