9 Minutes from Manhattan
90 million years back in time

 
 

2017 Season

OPEN LABOR DAY!

10am - 6pm


The park is closed Septmember 5 to September 22.

 

 

Meet our Paleontologists

What does it take to be a vertebrate paleontologist?


Learn More


 

Rules & Manners

 

Dinosaur Etiquette 


    Learn more

PARASAUROLOPHUS


< Back to All Dinosaurs
 

FAST FACTS

PERIOD: LATE CRETACEOUS
LENGTH: UP TO 9.5 M
WEIGHT: UP TO 2.5 TONS

How do you say it?

par-ah-sawr-OL-uh-fus

Discovery:

When:       1922
Where:      Alberta, Canada
By Who?:   William Parks
 

Fun Facts 

Parasaurolophus’ crest was likely used for sexual selection, as well as for creating sounds
for communication.

Communication 

How did dinosaurs communicate with each other?

Facial expression, coloration, posture, chemicals, size, elaborate displays, odor, and behavior: these are just some of the ways animals communicate with each other. They also communicate for countless reasons: to intimidate rivals, find mates, defend themselves, confuse predators, or to find food or their family or other members of the herd. 

Dinosaus certainly used many of these communication methods for the same reasons, but most of those methods don't get preserved as fossils. Fortunately, though, body parts are also often used to communicate, and body parts made of bone do get preserved. 

Parasaurolophus provides us with one of the best examples of a body part that was likely used for communication, and probably for communicating in several ways. The large crest on its head was probably a visual queue to other members of its species. Amazingly, we've also discovered that the crest is actually a series of hollow tubes through which air passed, which would have made loud, low frequency sounds. It was the Cretaceous equivalent to having a large bugle on top of its head.