|“||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, is was over 9 meters long, weighed 5 tons, was a cousin of the North American hadrosaur Parasaurolophus, and it had a crest on its head that it used to create bellowing calls as a form of communication between herd members.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Saurolophus lived in Prehistoric Mongilia during the Late Cretaceous period from 80–65 million years ago, living up until the end of the age of the dinosaurs. Saurolophus was first discovered by Barnum Brown in 1912.
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, Hadrosaurs, including Saurolophus, were one of the few dinosaurs that could actually chew. No dinosaurs could move their jaws like humans can, but what the duck-bills did was different. 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 and lived in herds. This was mostly likely for protection about large predators like Tarbosaurus and maybe even Velociraptor. Rather than fighting, they would flee to escape danger. As they were relatively fast animals, that wouldn't be an issue.