Corythosaurus

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Just like frogs, crickets, and birds, this dinosaur used its voice to communicate and find a mate.

 

Fun Facts

  • Corythosaurus casuarius was a duckbill dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago.
  • It belonged to the Hadrosauridae family.
  • It lived in the area that is now Alberta, Canada and it grew 30 feet long from nose to tail.
  • Corythosaurus had a hollow crest on its head and a narrow beak.
  • While its name means “helmet lizard/reptile,” this dinosaur’s crest was not really a helmet. It was a circular, hollow dome filled with tubes connecting the windpipe to the nostrils.
  • Scientists believe these tubes helped the dinosaur create sounds. Since male and females had different crests, they probably made different sounds.
  • These sounds helped them communicate and helped males signal interest in females.
  • This dinosaur had highly developed inner ears, meaning it had good hearing, another reason why communication would have been important.
  • Originally scientists believed they had found different species of Corythosaurus because they found fossils of varying sizes, with varying crests. They later realized that these differences were because of variations in age, as well as differences between males and females.
  • Corythosaurus is one of the well-studied duckbill dinosaurs because of one fossil found in the early 1900s. This specimen was preserved with all its bones, its skin, its organs, and even the last meal it ate (conifer needles, seeds, and sticks).

 

Questions and Answers

Question: Where is this fossil now?

Answer: The fossil described above is displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

 

Learn More

Watch a video about the Corythosaurus.