Saurolophus

Saurolophus

The Saurolophus is one of the known ornithopods that ever existed. This species was discovered in Laramidia, which stretches from modern-day Mexico to Alaska. They were also a part of the genus Saurolophinae, which is a group that consists of solid crested to crestless hadrosaurids that were previously known as hadrosaurines.

Key facts

DomainDescription
Saurolophus pronunciationThe name Saurolophus can be pronounced as, “SORE-oh-LOAF-us”.
What does Saurolophus mean?The name Saurolophus, is derived from the Greek words, saûros, which means lizard and lóphos, which means crest. The Saurolophus is known for its crest which forms a single blunt spike-like rearward projection that rises from the top of its skull.
Dinosaur typeOrnithopod
On the menuHerbivore
Length12.3 m (40.35 ft)
Height3.7 m (12.13 ft)
Weight4 Ton (8,818 lb)
Life expectancyWhile the Saurolophus would have known to have lived for a long amount of years, the estimated life expectancy is unrecorded.
Legs used to get around Like other Hadrosaurids, the Saulorophus is known to have been quadrupedal, which means that they walked using their 4 legs. It is also believed that they were bipedal as well, especially when running away from predators.
Estimated top speed15-20 mph (24-32 kph)
When they livedLate Cretaceous Period, which was approximately 74-70 million years ago.
Where they have been found?The first fossil evidence of a Saurolophus was found in Alberta, Canada.

When & Where

The very first species of the Saurolophus, which is the S. Osborni, was discovered by Barnum Brown in 1911 in Alberta, Canada. The skull that was found was almost complete, which made it the first Canadian discovery to contain such a large amount of bones upon discovery. The fossils were found in the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Edmonton Formation at the time of discovery) on the location of the Red River. It was also the first duck-billed dinosaur that contains sclerotic rings, which are rings of bones that are placed to protect the eyes. The discovery can be seen today at the American Museum of Natural History.

Mobility & Diet

As the Saurolophus were discovered to be quadrupedal, this helped a lot with their diet and food. By being able to switch to bipedal and quadrupedal positions, the Saurolophus was able to feed on plants that had varying heights, from low to high points. Their mouths also had organs inside mouths that made it easier for them to chew the vegetables, an action that most dinosaurs are not able to do.

Interesting Points

  • They existed from 83.6 million years ago to 66 million years ago.
  • Like other ornithopods, they lived in a terrestrial habitat.
  • They were also herbivores.
  • Mainly reproduce by laying eggs.
  • 22 different specimens have been found by paleontologists.
  • One of the most interesting points of the Saurolophus is that they have been discovered to have sclerotic rings, or the rings around their eyes to have them protected. It was also concluded that Saurolophus was active during the day through short periods of time as well as during the night.