Parasaurolophus was one of the largest known 'duck-billed dinosaurs' from North America. The tube-like, bony crest on its head may have produced loud trumpeting sounds. This peaceful plant eater walked on four legs most of the time, but could rear up and run on two legs when it was in a hurry. It occupied Canada during the Cretaceous Period about 75 million years ago.
A spectacular, complete skeleton of this crested dinosaur wasfirst discovered in 1920, in Alberta, Canada.
The stunning crest of Parasaurolphus has generated much speculation over theyears. When Parasaurolophus was first discovered, it was presumed to beamphibious, and so some palaeontologists suggested it could use itshollow crest as a snorkel. However, the tip of the crest iscompletely closed, so this theory has been generally dismissed.Alternatively, it is possible that the hollow crest was used as aresonating chamber to generate loud bellowing sounds. Otherresearchers have suggested that the crest may have been colorful,to be used in mating displays or to help individuals recognizeothers of the same species.
Parasaurolphus is now regarded as fully terrestrial. Itlived its entire life on land and used its sturdy limbs andhoof-like claws to support its weight. Its flattened 'bill' helpedit to strip leaves from pine trees, and it used its hundreds oftightly packed teeth to grind the tough plant material. Thisfascinating dinosaur lived in Late Cretaceous times, around 75million years ago, alongside a variety of other dinosaurs.