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Ornithopoda

HADROSAUR
eggs


 
Meaning Of Name: Crested or ridged reptile
Classification: ORNITHOPODA; Hadrosauridae, Hadrosaurinae
Age: Late Cretaceous (Late Campanian-Early Maastrichtian), Nemegt Formation, 7O million years ago.
Locality: Gobi Desert, Southern Peoples' Republic of Mongolia
Cast Size: 42cm in length

 

Saurolophus is also well known in North America. There, as in Mongolia, it is common in flood plain deposits.

Although not the largest hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur, that honour goes to Shantungosaurus giganteus from China, Saurolophus angustirostris was still one of the biggest.

For some reason, skin impressions of hadrosaurs are rather common both in North America and Central Asia. They show that these animals had a scale pattern typical of reptiles. There is no suggestion of hair, feathers, or any other insulating external body covering.

Saurolophus had a horny beak that lacked any teeth with a battery of cheek teeth good for processing resistant vegetation. The outside three fingers of the hand were joined in a fleshy 'mitten' and the two inner fingers had sizeable, stout claws. The skull bones at the back of the head formed a spike, which continued behind the head. The back was stiff because of the bony tendons that cries-crossed between the neural spines of the vertebrae, and the tail was flattened side to side.

Palaeontologists think that Saurolophus spent part of the time walking as a quadraped on four legs, while at other times, perhaps when travelling fast, walking upright on its hind legs only The flattened tail and the paddle-like hands suggest that this duck-billed hadrosaur spent part of its life in water.

Nest of duck-billed dinosaur eggs from Gooreeleen Tsav, Southern Mongolia.