Parasaurolophus is the most famous of the crested
hadrosaurs. It was small animal, compared to the other North American hadrosaurs, but it had
the largest crest of any duck-bill.
The Parasaurolophus lived in the forest region, but it has also migrated to
the plains, semi-arid and the swamp regions. It was a herbivore, a herding
animal, falling into a rigid social hierarchy. Males seem to achieve
dominance in relation to the coloration of their skull crests. The females
were capable of creating sounds at lower frequencies; they have repeatedly
attracted the attention of the more brightly-colored males. This duck-bill had a long tubular crest that curved back from its
snout and seems to have been larger in the males than in the females. This
crest was an elongated, curved structure, longer than its skull. It
contained two hollow tubes, believed to be for the creation of sound.
Parasaurolophus is able to use these tubes to communicate with its fellow
herd members. This crest was probably used to produce a loud bellow or call
by exhaling air from these tubes within. Parasaurolophus was a good swimmer and had strong arms and a tail
which was flattened from side to side. It was able to walk on two feet as
easily as four.
- 76 to 65 MYA, Late
- USA - Montana, Alaska. Canada -
- Various plants, including aquatic varieties.
- Lengths up to 30ft (10m).