If you like English Tongue-Twisters try to pronounce the name “Parasaurolophus”, if you don’t, just read the text below and you’ll learn more about this peculiar creature that existed centuries ago. The dinosaur’s name means “crested lizard” because of it’s conspicuous crest that exists on the top back of it’s head. Parasaurolophus lived in Asia (Heilongjiang) and North America (New Mexico, Utah & Alberta) during the late Cretaceous Period about 75 million years ago. It was a herbivorous animal which was able to walk both on two and on four feets. It’s genus was first discovered in 1922 by Dr. William Parks who found a partial skeleton and a skull fossil in Alberta (Canada).
The most characteristic aspect of Parasaurolophus was the long backward curving crest on the back of it’s skull. It was first believed that the crest was used as a snorkel by the dinosaur to breathe air when it was underwater, another assumption was that it was used as a weapon against potential predators. Neither of them was true, today, scientists claim that the dinosaur’s crest was used to produce distinctive sounds in order to communicate with other members of the flock, as to warn them in a case of emergency or to signal mating availability. In the video below we can hear how Parasaurolophus may have sounded.
The tail of Parasaurolophus was also bizzare, as it was notably deep placed. This has led some paleontologists to think that it was used as a signaling device for keeping the herd together as it moved through the woods. An adult dinosaur measured approximately 40 feet / 12 meters in length, 8 feet / 2.4 meters in height and it’s weight was about 2 tons. It is also estimated that Parasaurolophus could reach a speed of about 25 mph / 40 km/h, it was as fast as a zebra. As I mentioned before, our dinosaur was able to stand both on two and on four legs, this skill to switch postures, unlike many other dinosaur’s species, gave it the possibility to reach different heights, for finding food, from bushes close to the ground to medium-sized trees.
The first time I saw a picture of Parasaurolophus the face of Jar Jar Binks (character of Star Wars Series) immediately came to my mind, maybe the designer of Jar Jar Binks liked dinosaur’s too, but I can’t say for sure.
The forests of Asia and North America in late Cretaceous era must have flooded with echoing sounds of those fascinating creatures, maybe their bewitching noises ruled the woodlands for centuries until the end has come. Below, I provide a video from Matthew The Dinosaur King youtube channel (I love this guy’s videos!) who presents in great detail Parasaurolophus toy figure, if you like such kind of figures you should definitely check his channel. He has created a very large database of such videos that literally anyone can find nearly any dinosaur figure in there. Well done Matthew!!!
Thank you for your time, take care!
Created by me by pixabay.com images