Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: PARASAUR

[ Parasaur crest ]

PARASAUROLOPHUS (par-ah-sawr-OL-o-fus) "Similar Crested Lizard" (Greek para = similar + SAUROLOPHUS, because this dinosaur also had a CREST)

A Late Cretaceous LAMBEOSAURINE HADROSAUR of western North America. The remarkable crest of this duck-billed dinosaur was a hollow tube 5 feet (1.5 m) long that extended back over the animal's shoulders. The purpose of this tube is not known. It was once thought to be a snorkel, but it has no opening at the end. It may have improved the dinosaur's sense of smell. All of the air Parasaurolophus breathed traveled from the nostrils at the tip of the snout, up to the tip of the crest, and then back down the crest before it went down the windpipe to the lungs.

Parasaurolophus was 30 feet (9 m) long and 16 feet (4.9 m) tall, and weighed 3 to 4 tons (2.7 to 3.6 metric tons). It was a BIPEDAL land dweller and ate pine needles and oak or poplar leaves. Its HANDS were webbed, and its duck-like beak was spoon-shaped. It is known from a nearly complete skeleton found in Alberta, Canada. Its FOSSILS have also been found in New Mexico.

Classification: Hadrosauridae, Ornithopoda, Ornithischia