Corythosaurus ‭(‬Helmet lizard‭)

Short Info

Corythosaurus ‭(‬Helmet lizard‭)

Phonetic : Cor-ith-o-sore-us.

Named By : Barnum Brown‭ ‬-‭ ‬1914

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 9-10 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Euornithopod

Type Species : C.‭ ‬casuarius‭ (‬type‭)‬, C. intermedius

Found in : Canada,‭ ‬Alberta.‭ ‬USA,‭ ‬Montana

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 76-74 million years ago

Corythosaurus”/,karIth@’so.s/” is a genus in the family of Hadrosaurid “duck-billed” dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Period, about 77-75.7 million years ago. It was found in the present-day North America. The name translates to “helmet lizard”, derived from Greek the word korus. It was described and named at the time of 1914 by Barnum Brown. Corythosaurus is believed to be the name of a lambeosaurine that is which is related to Nipponosaurus, Velafrons, Hypacrosaurus and Olorotitan. Corythosaurus is estimated to have a length of 9 meters (30 feet) and features a skull, which includes the crest, which is 70.8 centimetres (27.9 in) 2.32 feet) tall.


Carnegie CorythosaurusJames Tiffin Jr., CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Corythosaurus is well-known from numerous complete specimens, including the almost entire holotype discovered in the hands of Brown in the year 1911. The holotype skull is missing the final section of the tail and parts of the forelimbs however it is preserved with the impressions from polygonal scales. Corythosaurus is well-known from numerous skulls that have large crests. The crests are similar to those of the cassowary and Corinthian helmet. The primary purpose of the crest is believed to be that of vocalization. Similar to a trombone, sound waves travel through a variety of chambers within the crest and become amplified after Corythosaurus exhaled. A Corythosaurus specimen was preserved after its final meal inside the chest cavity. Inside the cavity were remnants of conifer needles, seeds fruit twigs and twigs. Corythosaurus likely consumed the whole assortment of fruits and needles.

Both species belonging to the Corythosaurus are found in somewhat different areas within the Dinosaur Park Formation. Both co-existed with theropods as well as other ornithischians including Daspletosaurus, Brachylophosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Scolosaurus, and Chasmosaurus.

This first fossil, known as AMNH 5240 was found around 1911 in 1911 by Barnum Brown, who was in Red Deer River, Alberta, Canada, and secured by him in the autumn of 1912. In addition to the skeleton which was nearly complete the discovery was remarkable due to the fact that impressions of a large portion of the creature’s skin been preserved. The specimen was found in the Belly River Group of the province. The underside, or left side part of the skull was preserved with carbonaceous clay. This made it difficult to reveal the skin. Skeletal bones were articulated and is missing only the final 0.61 meters (2.0 feet) from the tail as well as the forelimbs. The scapulae and the coracoids are still in place however all the other forelimbs have disappeared with the exception of phalanges and pieces of humeriand Radii and ulnae. It appears that the rest of the forelimbs were worn away or weathered. Illustrations of the integument were preserved and covered much of the bones, and show the shape of the body. A second specimen AMNH 5338 was discovered at the time of 1914 in 1914 by Brown along with Peter Kaisen. Both specimens are located within the American Museum of Natural History in their original poses of death.

The species that is the most common Corythosaurus casuarius was identified by Barnum Brown in 1914, after the first specimen he collected by Barnum Brown in 1912. AMNH 5240, therefore, is the Holotype. It was in 1916 that the writer, Brown, published a more thorough description, which was in turn built on AMNH 5338. This specimen is the Plesiotype. Corythosaurus is among the many lambeosaurines that have crests and it was this crest that gave Corythosaurus it’s name. The name Corythosaurus originates from the Greek koruthos, korythos, “Corinthian helmet”, and refers to “helmeted lizard”. The particular name, casuarius, refers to the cassowary bird that has a skull crest. It is the full name of Corythosaurus casuarius is “Cassowary-like reptile, with a Corinthian helmet crest”.

The two most preserved specimens of Corythosaurus , discovered in 1912, by Charles H. Sternberg in 1912, vanished on the 6th of December, 1916 when they were transported on the SS Mount Temple to the United Kingdom, during World War I. They were taken for examination by Arthur Smith Woodward, a paleontologist from the British Museum of Natural History in England and the ship carrying them was struck in the German merchant pirate SMS Mowe in the middle of the ocean.

There was previously seven species of dinosaurs described in the literature, including C. casuarius, C. bicristatus Parks 1935, C. brevicristatus Parks 1935, C. excavatus Gilmore 1923, C. frontalis Parks 1935 C. frontalis Parks 1935, and C. assyrianus Parks 1923. In 1975, Peter Dodson studied the differences between the skulls and crests of various species of dinosaurs called lambeosaurine. He concluded that the differences in size and form could be due with the gender or the age of the animal. There is only one species recognised for certain species, C. casuarius, but C. intermedius has been proven to be legitimate in some studies. It is based upon specimen the skull ROM 776 discovered at the time of Levi Sternberg in 1920 and was named by William Parks in 1923, who had initially named Stephanosaurus intermedius earlier in that year. The exact name of C. intermedius stems from its apparent position in the middle as per Parks. C. intermedius existed in a different time during C. casuarius. Campanian as C. casuarius C. casuarius was not as common, and the two species aren’t identical and this was proven by the distinction of the two species in a study conducted in 2009.

Source: Wikipedia