Probactrosaurus (Before Bactrosaurus)
Anatoly Konstantinovich Rozhdestvensky - 1966
Estimated 6 meters long
P. gobiensis (type), P. mazongshanensis
Mongolia - Dashuigou Formation. Possibly also China, Gansu Province - Lower Red Unit Formation
Late Cretaceous, 80-70 million years ago
Probactrosaurus, meaning “before Bactrosaurus,” is a genus of herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 80 to 70 million years ago. It was a member of the group known as hadrosaurs, or “duck-billed dinosaurs,” which were characterized by their flattened, beak-like snouts and dental batteries.
Probactrosaurus was first discovered in 1951 in Mongolia by a team of Soviet paleontologists. Since then, numerous fossils have been found in various locations around the world, including China and Russia.
As its name suggests, Probactrosaurus is believed to be an ancestor of the later hadrosaur genus Bactrosaurus. It shares many similarities with Bactrosaurus, including its overall body shape and dental batteries, but has a number of differences as well. For example, Probactrosaurus had a shorter, less flattened snout than Bactrosaurus, and its teeth were slightly more primitive.
Probactrosaurus was a medium-sized dinosaur, measuring approximately 6 meters (20 feet) in length and weighing up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds). It was a bipedal animal, meaning it walked on two legs, but could also move on all fours when feeding or moving slowly. Its hind legs were longer than its forelimbs, and it had five toes on each foot, with the inner three toes supporting its body weight.
As a herbivore, Probactrosaurus likely fed on a variety of vegetation, such as ferns, cycads, and conifers. Its dental batteries allowed it to grind tough plant material, and it likely swallowed stones to aid in the digestion of its food.
In conclusion, Probactrosaurus is a fascinating dinosaur that provides valuable insight into the evolutionary history of hadrosaurs. As a paleontologist, studying fossils of Probactrosaurus and other dinosaurs helps us to better understand the diversity of life that existed on Earth millions of years ago.