Corythosaurus belonged to the family Hadrosuridae, which contains other ornithopods that have duckbills and is a member of the order Ornithischia, or bird-hipped dinosaurs. 

Key facts

Corythosaurus pronunciationKoh-rith-OH-sore-us
What does Corythosaurus mean?The name comes from two Greek words, korythos which means helmet and saurus which means lizard. It was inspired by the crest-shape head which is the unique feature of this dinosaur.
Dinosaur typeOrnithopod
On the menuHerbivorous
Length4 meters (13 feet)
Height9 meters (30 feet)
Weight4 tons (9,000 lbs)
Life expectancyAbout 65 years
Legs used to get aroundBoth quadrupedal and bipedal able to get around on two or four legs.
Estimated top speedTop speed estimated to be around 30 mph (50km/h).
When they livedLived in the Upper Cretaceous Period, about 77-75.7 million years ago.
Where they have been found?The fossils of the Corythosaurus were found in Canada, USA.

When & Where

The first fossil of the Corythosaurus was found in 1914 in the Judith River Formation, which extends from the Canadian province of Alberta to Montana, located in the United States. Upon this discovery, another remains of a small duckbill that has a crest, same as that of a Corythosaurus, was found in Montana. It was believed to be a Procheneosaurus, but some scientists concluded that it was a baby Corythosaurus.

Size & Weight

The Corythosaurus was believed to have grown to an adult size of about 9 meters in length. This species had a long and heavy tail and weighed about three to five tons or about 10000 lbs. The remains of the Corythosaurus were discovered to have a skeletal structure that looks biped, which means that this type of dinosaur stood upright and was able to walk on two legs. 

Mobility & Diet

Using its long neck and tail as a counterbalance with its small interlocking teeth, the Corythosaurus is believed to have gathered food on trees and other vegetables in the Cretaceous period, and may have been able to gather in herds as well.

Interesting Points

  • Also called the “helmet lizard”, the interesting feature that Corythosaurus has, is the hollow bony crest located on top of its head. This crest was believed to have been used as a sounding device as it contained tubes used for breathing that extended starting from the nose up to the back of its throat. Other scientists also believed that Corythosaurus were aquatic animals and the crests may have been used to serve as a snorkel, allowing them to be able to breathe while underwater.
  • The crested dinosaur was named after a special kind of helmet worn by Greek soldiers about 2700 years ago in Corinth.
  • The nostrils of the dinosaur can reach up through its crest.
  • In 1916, a British ship named ‘Mount Temple’ was carrying two fossils of these reptiles to Britain from the United States but was ruined by a German U-boat. The fossils went down and up to this day are still at the bottom of the ocean.