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The Edmontosaurus is a genus of Hadrosaurs which are duck-billed dinosaurs. Their name translates to 'lizard from Edmonton.' The genus contains two species: the Edmontosaurus Regalis, also known as E. Regalis, 'Species E' and the Edmontosaurus Annectens (E. Annectens). An interesting fact about the Edmontosaurus is that it is assumed that the rest of the body dried out before its bones leaving behind the mummified body. Mummified Edmontosaurus fossils provided skin impressions that revealed the soft tissue structure and more intricate scale patterns, not a bony crest-like other Hadrosaurs. Prof. Lawrence Lambe, who was a paleontologist and a researcher in Alberta, Canada, was an important figure in the discovery and description of the Edmontosaurus. An unidentified new dinosaur was discovered in 1912 by Levi Sternberg, which was taken over by Lambe. He compared it to the Diclonius mirabilis, but the specimen later appeared to be that of the E. Annectens. Initially, he only described skulls but later confirmed them to be that of Edmontosaurus. The North Dakota specimen (the MRF-03) of Edmontosaurus named 'Dakota mummy' and the Trachodon mummy of Montana were among many Edmontosaurus mummies discovered in different parts of North America. The LACM 23502 of Montana was a well preserved specimen of the type species E. Regalis. The accurate Edmontosaurus description is much easier to give, as these Hadrosaurs were one of the best-preserved dinosaurs of all time. In initial stages of exploration, Campione and Evans compared the Edmontosaurus to Hadrosaurs as they suspected the Hadrosaurid to be a mature version of the Edmontosaurus, rather than being a different genus and species. However, it turned out to be the other way around! The Edmontosaurus dinosaur (E. regalis) had a short yet robust-looking skull. The E annectens, the younger sub-species of the E. Regalis, was found all over North America in late Maastrichtian formations, which existed roughly 66 to 68 million years ago. Two specimens, MOR 1609 and MOR 1142, are housed at the Museum of the Rockies, while another specimen is housed at the Royal Museum of Alberta, Canada.
The word Edmontosaurus is composed of five syllables and is pronounced as 'Ed-mon-to-sau-rus.'
The Edmontosaurus was a duck-billed dinosaur belonging to the Hadrosaur genus. It belonged to the Euornithopod family, meaning it was a medium-sized herbivore.
The Hadrosaur roamed the Earth during the late Cretaceous period, about 73 to 65 million years ago.
The Hadrosaur became extinct around 66 million years ago during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.
These duck-billed dinosaurs hailed from the Edmonton Rock formation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, hence the name 'Edmonton lizard.' Edmontosaurus fossils were also discovered in western North American areas like Montana and Wyoming.
These Hadrosaurs were found in the Edmonton region of Alberta, Canada. They inhabited the Hell Creek formation, near the Horseshoe Canyon of South Dakota, which is a rocky grassland surrounded by mountains. It also had a stream of fresh water.
The Edmontosaurus lived alongside popular dinosaurs from North America like the Triceratops, the Tyrannosaurus, the Albertosaurus and the Pachycephalosaurus shortly before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.
The Edmonton lizard's life spanned between 70-90 years.
Like all other dinosaurs, the Edmontosaurus reproduced by laying eggs. The female was known to lay a total of 16 eggs in each cycle. Nests were usually shallow pits of mud and grass.
The Edmontosaurus was a mid-sized dinosaur that resembled raptors. It had a crown-like comb on top of its head, which was made up of soft cartilage-like skin material and was the most unique feature of the Hadrosaur. The mummified version of the duck-billed lizard enabled researchers to procure soft tissue remains from beautifully preserved Edmontosaurus fossils. This has helped them to understand their physical appearance much better than that of many other dinosaurs. The Edmontosaurus pattern was almost like a comb. Skin impressions also show the outline of a segmented frill that ran along the tail, and the crest was like other Hadrosaurids with thin, delicate skin. The Edmontosaurus skeleton also reveals that these dinosaurs had a beige coloration tinted with yellow, and a light green and orange streak ran from neck to tail. It also had several tiny spots all over the body, while its tail was sharp and short. The Edmontosaurus skin had non-overlapping scales like many other dinosaurs.
The Edmontosaurus regalis skeleton contained over 240 bones in all. Bones from the discovered specimen consisted of 13 neck vertebrae, 18 back and rib vertebrae, nine hip vertebrae, and the number of their tail vertebrae is not known to date.
The duck-billed Edmonton lizard communicated through hissing and bellowing. In fact, none of the species are known to have loud roars, as shown in movies.
The length of the Edmonton lizard was around 30 ft (9.1 m). It was deemed to be a dinosaur of moderate build. While comparing it to predatory species like the T-rex, the Edmontosaurus was almost three times smaller than the T-rex which had a length of 40 ft (12.2 m).
The duck-billed dinosaur was a bi-pedal dinosaur that walked on its two legs. It is interesting to note that although it had the ability to walk on four legs, it preferred not to use its front legs. Its maximum speed reached up to 28 mph (45 kph).
The Edmontosaurus size was moderate. A popular comparison was the Albertosaurus which existed during the same era and had similar features. If we put the Edmontosaurus vs. Albertosaurus, the Albertosaurus weighed around 5,511.6 lb (2,500 kg), whereas the Edmontosaurus weighed 16,534.7 lb (7,000 kg), thus making the Edmontosaurus almost three times heavier than the Albertosaurus.
Male dinosaurs were called 'bucks' and female dinosaurs were called 'cows.' Otherwise, both males and females of the species were known by the same name 'Edmontosaurus.'
Babies of the Edmontosaurus were called 'hatchlings,' just like its cousin, reptiles.
The duck-billed dinosaur clearly lived off plant material from forests as it resided in coniferous regions. Its broad beak was structured and adapted to grinding down tough plant material of drylands.
The Edmonton lizard was a very calm and non-aggressive species, and it was known to have lived in harmony with other animals around their habitat.
The initial fossil was a specimen nicknamed Dakota and Trachodon cavatus by Edward Cope.
The mummified Edmontosaurus from the upper Cretaceous period lacked a bony crest like other Hadrosaurids and is probably the ancestor of the modern-day rooster or duck! Instead of a bony crest, the Edmontosaurus comb was placed on its head, and it contained soft tissue, with the ridge unsupported by any bones.
The specimen is on display at the British Museum of Natural History. The specimen became the first dinosaur skeleton in the history of a Canadian museum to be mounted for an exhibition.
The species Annectens E was named in 1892 as Claosaurus annectens by Othniel Charles Marsh, while The species E. regalis was named by Lawrence Lambe in 1917.
Although the Edmontosaurus was a quadruped, it preferred walking on two legs. This was probably an evolutionary trait meant to boost its speed. It was certainly due to this feature that researchers compared the Edmontosaurus vs. Raptors, who had similar walking styles.
The Anatotitan clade or the Anatosaurus was thought to be similar dinosaurs due to their soft skin, just like the Edmontosaurus. They had soft cheek pouches and hooves similar to Edmontosaurus hooves.
The pleasant Edmontosaurus was not immune to raids of the ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex and the Daspletosaurus, which were bigger, aggressive, carnivorous species.
The Edmontosaurus had a broad beak that curved down to the lower jaw. Beneath the broad beak was a set of hundreds of continually replaced tiny teeth! Edmontosaurus teeth were pretty specialized. They resembled batteries and skillfully grinded plant material. Teeth were referred to as dental batteries; each tooth had up to six types of dental tissue.
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 Metriorhynchus interesting facts or Yinlong facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Edmontosaurus coloring pages.