Image Credit: McGarrity, C. T., Campione N. E. , and Evans D. C. (2013) “Cranial anatomy and variation in Prosaurolophus maximus (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae)”.

John Michalski is a senior geology major at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He has been passionate about dinosaurs since he could walk and talk, and loves to discuss and educate others about paleontology and prehistoric life.

Hadrosaurs were among the most successful dinosaurs to appear in the entirety of the Mesozoic Era. Colloquially known as duck-billed dinosaurs, they became massively abundant during the late Cretaceous, with numerous species populating North America and Asia, as well as some appearing in Africa (Ajnabia) and South America (Bonapartesaurus). But this diversity is shadowed by the popularity of individual genera. Most people vaguely familiar with duckbills may recall Edmontosaurus, Maiasaura, or Parasaurolophus, perhaps the most famous of all hadrosaurs.

Few, however, would have heard of such creatures as Gryposaurus, Hypacrosaurus, or in this case Prosaurolophus.

Although it lacks the extraordinary headgear, famous dig sites, or even the novelty of being Tyrannosaurus rex’s lunch like its relatives, Prosaurolophus remains an important piece in the puzzle of understanding the world (specifically western North America) during the last several million years of the Mesozoic. On a personal note, I did a video project about Campanian dinosaurs a while back, and Prosaurolophus was a central focus of the video. As such I have a bit of a fondness for it, and I see no reason why this guy can’t get the same amount of love as other, more well-known hadrosaurs.

Sources:

Christopher T. McGarrity, Nicolas E. Campione, David C. Evans, Cranial anatomy and variation in Prosaurolophus maximus (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae), Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 167, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 531–568, https://doi.org/10.1111/zoj.12009

Eberth, David A. “3. The Geology.” Dinosaur Provincial Park: a spectacular ancient ecosystem revealed (2005): 54.

Forster, Catherine A. “The paleoecology of the ornithopod dinosaur Tenontosaurus tilletti from the Cloverly Formation, Big Horn Basin of Wyoming and Montana.” The Mosasaur 2 (1984): 151-163.

Hopson, J. (1975). The evolution of cranial display structures in hadrosaurian dinosaurs. Paleobiology, 1(1), 21-43. doi:10.1017/S0094837300002165

Lull, Richard Swann; Wright, Nelda E. (1942). Hadrosaurian Dinosaurs of North America. Geological Society of America Special Paper 40. Geological Society of America. p. 226.

McKellar, R.C., Jones, E., Engel, M.S. et al. A direct association between amber and dinosaur remains provides paleoecological insights. Sci Rep 9, 17916 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54400-x

Rogers, Raymond R. “Taphonomy of Three Dinosaur Bone Beds in the Upper Cretaceous Two Medicine Formation of Northwestern Montana: Evidence for Drought-Related Mortality.” PALAIOS, vol. 5, no. 5, 1990, pp. 394–413. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3514834. Accessed 4 Jan. 2021.

Schmitz L, Motani R. Nocturnality in dinosaurs inferred from scleral ring and orbit morphology. Science. 2011 May 6;332(6030):705-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1200043. Epub 2011 Apr 14. PMID: 21493820.