Saurolophus (lizard crest)
Saurolophus (lizard crest)
Named By : Barnum Brown - 1912
Diet : Herbivore
Size : 10 – 12 meters long
Type of Dinosaur : Euornithopod
Type Species : S. osborni (type), S. angustirostris
Found in : Canada - Alberta - Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Mongolia - Nemegt Formation. Possibly also USA - California - Moreno Formation and China - Heilongjiang Province
When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 74-70 million years ago
Saurolophus (/so:’ral@f@s/ which translates to “lizard crest”) is an genus belonging to the huge hadrosaurid dinosaurs of in the Late Cretaceous period of Asia and North America, that lived in the present Horseshoe Canyon and Nemegt formations around 70 to 68 million years ago. It is among the rare genera of dinosaurs that are found on different continents. The species that is the most common, S. osborni, was discovered by Barnum Brown in 1912 based on Canadian fossils. Another species that is valid, S. angustirostris, is illustrated by numerous specimens found from Mongolia and was first described by Anatoly Konstantinovich Rozhdestvensky in 1912.
Saurolophus can be distinguished through a spike-like crest that extends upwards and outwards into the skull. It was a herbivore dinosaur that could move in a bipedal or quadrupedal manner.
Barnum Brown discovered the first fossilized evidence from Saurolophus at the time of his discovery in 1911. which included an almost complete skeleton (AMNH 5220). It is now on display at the American Museum of Natural History This skeleton is the first almost complete dinosaur skeleton found in Canada. It was discovered in rock from the earlier Maastrichtian age, located in the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation (then called The Edmonton Formation) near Tolman Ferry, which is located on the Red Deer River in Alberta. Brown spent little time discussing his work, and even gave his own family. Saurolophus was an important reference point for different hadrosaurs such as some of the names Prosaurolophus (“before Saurolophus”) and Parasaurolophus (“near Saurolophus”). However, only a small amount of additional material has been found and identified.
However, more plentiful remains of Asia have given more information. Initial remains did not look promising with a fragmentary ischium found from Heilongjiang, China, that Riabinin identified as S. Krischtofovici. The better remains were found, however, from Mongolia’s Maastrichtian age of the early Nemegt Formation. The expeditions of the Russian-Mongolian paleontological team in 1946 and 1949 discovered the massive skeleton that later was later named S. angustirostris in the description in the work of Anatoly Rozhdestvensky. Additional skeletons from a range of growth stages have been discovered. S. angustirostris has become among the highest-yielding Asian hadrosaurid.