Parasaurolophus is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of what is now North America, about 76.5–73 million years ago. Its name means "near crested lizard". It was given this name because when it was first discovered scientists thought it was related to Saurolophus. It was a herbivore that walked both as biped and a quadruped. It probably lived in herds.
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous
Parasaurolophus was a hadrosaur. They had a large head crest, which was a long curved tube. It went upwards and back from the skull. The crest has been much discussed by scientists. They think its main functions were visual recognition of species and sex, acoustic resonance (making a loud sound), and thermoregulation. Parasaurolophus is one of the rarer hadrosaurs: there are only a few good specimens.
- Martin 2014.
- Evans, D.C., Bavington R. and Campione N.E. 2009. An unusual hadrosaurid braincase from the Dinosaur Park Formation and the biostratigraphy of Parasaurolophus (Ornithischia: Lambeosaurinae) from southern Alberta. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 46(11): 791–800. doi:10.1139/E09-050