Want to learn some cool facts about a new but the oldest known Hadrosaurid dinosaur that lived during the Middle-Late Cretaceous era in the upper Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah? Then this article is for you!
Eolambia is an extinct genus of herbivorous Hadrosauroid dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous era in the Upper Cretaceous of North America. It was discovered by Carole and Ramal Jones in 1993 and was named by Dr. James Kirkland, an American paleontologist in 1998, its name means 'dawn lambeosaurine', a reference made to its initial classification. It has only one type species called Eolambia caroljonesa, which is named after Carole Jones, its co-discoverer. Ever since the discovery of its first specimen, the site it was discovered in, i.e. the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah, has been explored a lot and several Eolambia fossils, including dentary bones and nearly complete skeletons (belonging to adults and juveniles) have been found. Read on to find out more about this dinosaur including details about its history, range, classification, and which museum its remains are stored in.
The word Eolambia is pronounced as 'ee-o -lam-bee-uh'. It was named by Dr. James Kirkland and after Lambeosaurus because in a 1998 paper published in the bulletin of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science the species was considered as a basal Lambeosaurine, and its name means 'dawn lambeosaurine'. It has one type specimen-E. caroljonesa and its name honor Carol Jones.
The scientific classification of this dinosaur is as follows - kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, clade Dinosauria, Ornithischia (Ornithopoda), and superfamily Hadrosauroidea. This dinosaur was grouped with the Lambeosaurines until a study conducted in 1999 revealed that this dinosaur did not have a broad or expanded foot or a club-like condition, which raised many questions about its position in the evolutionary tree. Later it was also considered to have a more primitive form similar to an Ornithopod dinosaur. Some other published papers were primarily concerned with the recovered dinosaur fossils, including details of the Eolambia skull's reconstruction, and restoration of its remains. It was a large, herbivorous dinosaur and further in-depth research revealed that it was closely related to the duck-billed Hadrosaurs, which helped researchers classify Eolambia (dawn Lambeosaurine) as a member of the Hadrosaur family.
This dinosaur lived during the Albian stage of the Middle-Late Cretaceous period.
These dinosaurs went extinct during the K-T mass extinction, nearly 65 million years ago.
Fossil remains belonging to the large primitive herbivore Hadrosaur dinosaur were discovered from the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, in the USA. Thus, indicating the range of these hadrosaurid dinosaurs occupied the Lower Cretaceous of North America.
Eolambia lived near forests, lakes, and floodplains, this was proved by sedimentological evidence or data collected from the archaeological site its remains were recovered. The climate of the region most probably was humid or warm.
The social life and behavior of this dinosaur from the Dinosauria/Ornithischia clade are unknown.
The lifespan of these dinosaurs is unknown, but many theories suggest that these dinosaurs had a good life span and lived a long life.
They reproduced via sexual reproduction. Males would release their sperm inside females, who would later lay fertilized eggs containing developing dinosaur embryos in nests, which were built by digging burrows in the soil.
The Eolambia dinosaur was a large Hadrosauroid, but it did not have the exact same features as other Hadrosaurs e.g. it had a short thumb spike similar to a Camptosaurus and Iguanodon dinosaur, whereas duckbill dinosaurs lacked a thumb spike. This dinosaur also had seven sacral vertebrae, as opposed to the Hadrosaurids who had at least eight sacral vertebrae. Eolambia had a broader snout, whereas, the older members of the group had narrow snouts. The fossil representation of these dinosaurs includes a restored partial skull of an individual dinosaur, and skeletons of several adult and juvenile dinosaurs, eggs, and embryos.
A partial Eolambia skeleton was recovered from North America, the remains included a partial skull and forelimb from an adult and a left femur. The archeological site is nicknamed 'Carol's Site', as Carol Jones discovered the fossils.
Communication among these dinosaurs that roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous era is still a mystery but many scientists over the past decades have come up with several theories that suggest possible ways these animals communicated, some put forth the theory of vocalizations and that these ferocious beasts engaged in dialogue by producing calls, hoots, cracking sounds, body movements, and symbolic love calls during the mating season.
Curious about Eolambia' size? Well, adults of this species grew up to 20 ft (6 m) in length, they are among the largest Hadrosauroids.
The speed of an Eolambia caroljonesa is unknown.
Adults weighed around 2204.6 lb (1,000 kg).
A female dinosaur is called saura, whereas a male dinosaur is called saurus.
The young ones of this dinosaur can be referred to as hatchlings.
This member of Hadrosauroidea followed a herbivore diet and fed on araucarias, ferns, conifers, gymnosperms, algae, and flowering plants
Eolambia dinosaurs were preyed upon by large carnivore Theropod dinosaurs.
These dinosaurs weren't necessarily aggressive and avoided fights or contact with other predatory dinosaurs.
It is the oldest known member of the family of duck-billed dinosaurs, and many believe it is also the earliest duck-billed dinosaur, known as hadrosaurs.
The hypodigm of Eolambia consists of specimens that are housed in the College of Eastern Utah Museum (CEUM), and the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (OMNH). The specimens kept at CEUM include two partial skeletons.
They had teeth similar to members of Iguanodontia i.e. tiny rows of serrated teeth adapted to their diet.
Eolambia was named after Lambeosaurus because originally it was described as a basal lambeosaurine in a taxonomy paper (Bulletin) published by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in 1998. The prefix for its generic name is derived from Greek and it means dawn, morning, or early, thus the whole name translates to dawn lambeosaurine. It was a herbivore Hadrosauroid dinosaur that lived during the early Late Cretaceous, or Middle Cretaceous, in the United States. It has a single species called E. caroljonesa, named by Dr. James Kirkland, a renowned paleontologist in 1998, who also formally described the dinosaurs as a new genus. The name honors Carole who discovered the type specimen in 1993. Several researchers believe that this is the earliest duck-billed dinosaur (known as Hadrosaurs).
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Dracoraptor fun facts, or Spiclypeus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Eolambia coloring pages.
Main image by Audrey.m.horn.
Second image by Lukas Panzarin and Andrew T. McDonald.