|“||A gigantic herbivore called Saurolophus. At 40 feet long, the biggest plant-eater in the area.||„|
|— Allen, about Saurolophus|
Saurolophus (name meaning "Lizard Crest") is a genus of large, Laurasian hadrosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now Mongolia. One of the most common dinosaurs in Mongolia, Saurolophus measured 12 meters long, weighed 5 tons, and was a cousin of the North American hadrosaur Parasaurolophus, It also had a small crest on its head that it used to create bellowing calls as a form of communication between herd members.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Saurolophus lived in Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous period from 80–65 million years ago, living up until the end of the age of the dinosaurs. The type species, S. osborni, was described by Barnum Brown in 1912 from Canadian fossils. A second valid species, S. angustirostris, is represented by numerous specimens from Mongolia and was described by Anatoly Konstantinovich Rozhdestvensky.
As a gigantic species of Mongolian, Late Cretaceous hadrosaur, Saurolophus was a rather large hadrosaur, at 32 feet (9.8 m) long and weighing 5 tons. They were the biggest plant-eaters of their reign and they had to pack in so much vegetation.
It had large hind-limbs and small forelimbs. It had a duck-like bill with a large battery of teeth. Its jaws and teeth were designed for chewing plant matter rather than just swallowing it. Saurolophus also had a small crest at the back of its head, though the reason for this ornament isn't yet established by science; the most likely explanation is that hollow spike helped Saurolophus to make specific sounds to differentiate it from other hadrosaurs, or that it supported a fleshy sail at the end of the dinosaur's head during its' life.
Like with the Early Cretaceous dinosaur Iguanodon, Saurolophus (being a hadrosaur) was one of the few dinosaurs that could actually chew. No other dinosaurs, predator or prey, could move their jaws the same way humans can; from side to side. However, hadrosaurs like Saurolophus could. That they had a battery of teeth, which were in numbers of over 2,000 teeth in their mouths, and they slammed their lower jaws into their upper jaws, the bones distorted and they grounded the vegetation between that battery of teeth. These were fabulous animals.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Saurolophus were social animals that lived and traveled in relatively small herds. This was most likely for protection about large predators like Tarbosaurus and maybe even Velociraptor. Rather than fighting, Saurolophus would flee to escape danger. As they were relatively fast animals, that wouldn't be an issue.
However, due to their large size, Saurolophus was able to fight off smaller predators like Velociraptor. They were also able to co-exist with the other plant-eaters of their range, such as Protoceratops and even Therizinosaurus.
- Saurolophus is the first hadrosaur brought to the park.
- The sound effects of Saurolophus are that of moose, hippo, camel, and llama.