You are here: Prehistoric > Dinosaur species > Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus

ParasaurolophusParasaurolophus was a hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur, that lived in North America in the Late Cretaceous Period. Like all duck-bills, its face was elongated into a flattened snout with a toothless beak. It had long hindlegs, shorter forelegs with hooves and fleshy pads on its hands and a wide, stiffened tail. Its skin had a pebbly texture. Parasaurolophus's most distinctive feature was its long, bony, hollow crest, curving backwards from the top of the skull. Including the crest, its skull was 1.8 metres (6 feet) long—the height of an adult human.


Lifestyle

Parasaurolophus covering its nest with rotting vegetation to keep its eggs warmLike all duck-bills, Parasaurolophus had batteries of cheek teeth which it used to chew the vegetation it fed on before swallowing it. A herding animal, it may have migrated to higher land to build its nests on the ground—probably in large colonies—and lay its eggs. Parasaurolophus foraged for food walking around on four legs, but, if forced to escape from predators, it ran on its two hindlegs.

Parasaurolophus means “near-crested lizard”. It refers to another dinosaur, Saurolophus (“crested lizard”) which, at the time of discovery, it was thought to resemble.

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. They are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life, Space, History, Geography and Technology.


Find the answer