Fun Prosaurolophus Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 20, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Sep 29, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Prosaurolophus facts reveal an interesting feature of these herbivorous dinosaurs.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The Prosaurolophus, which means 'before Saurolophus', is a duck-billed dinosaur estimated to be from the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous period in North America. The two species of this dinosaur were discovered among the 27 individual skeletons in the Dinosaur Park Formation in Alberta, Canada, and the Two Medicine Formation in Montana, USA.

As the name suggests, this dinosaur is considered to be closely related to the Saurolophus because of their similar characteristic head crest. The overall Prosaurolophus physical appearance included a flattened skull with a duck-like beak in front, and maybe webbed, padded feet.

In comparison, the two species are differentiated based on the size proportions of their crest and skulls. This was the small head structure of P. maximus and the bigger head and concave crest of the P. blackfeetensis species, which were meant to protect the eyes.

The former species was described by an American Paleontologist, Barnum Brown. The P. blackfeetensis dinosaur was described by Jack Horner, an American Paleontologist as well. These dinosaurs had a herbivorous diet and were bipedal as well as quadrupedal. Usually, they used only their hind legs when running from predators and all four limbs when eating or casually moving around.

If you enjoy reading about dinosaurs, check out the Puertasaurus and the Zigongosaurus

Prosaurolophus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Prosaurolophus'?

The name 'Prosaurolophus' is pronounced as 'Pro-sore-o-lo-phus'.

What type of dinosaur was a Prosaurolophus?

The Prosaurolophus was a duck-billed dinosaur that has been classified as Hadrosaurid species.

In which geological period did the Prosaurolophus roam the Earth?

The P. maximus is said to have roamed the Earth during the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous period.

When did the Prosaurolophus become extinct?

Based on the specimen of this species, it is estimated that the Prosaurolophus maximus went extinct around 75-74 million years ago.

Where did a Prosaurolophus live?

The fossils of Prosaurolophus dinosaurs were discovered in North America at a depth of 30 ft (9 m) in Alberta, Canada under the Dinosaur Park Formation and in Montana, USA, among the Two Medicine Formation. First, the duck-billed skull of the P. maximus species was retrieved in 1915 from the Red Deer River near Seville in Alberta.

P. blackfeetensis fossils, along with two to three other remains, were found in Glacier County in Montana, USA.

What was a Prosaurolophus' habitat?

It is speculated that these dinosaurs lived along banks of water bodies such as lakes, ponds, or rivers. Studies have shown that they selected nesting sites in lowland as well as upland regions, depending on the availability of food, competition, and overall environmental conditions.

In addition, Alberta would have been warmer during the Late Cretaceous epoch which means the areas would be densely vegetated with tree ferns, bushes, and flowering plants.

Who did a Prosaurolophus live with?

Since the fossils of these dinosaurs were found in numbers of 27 individuals in one region along with fossils found in the bone bed of other Prosaurolophus, it is suggested that this Hadrosaurid species lived in groups or herds.

How long did a Prosaurolophus live?

The exact lifespan of this dinosaur species is unknown. Although collected evidence suggests that Hadrosaurid dinosaurs lived for over 25 years.

How did they reproduce?

The exact reproduction patterns of Prosaurolophus dinosaurs are unknown, except that they may have nested in upland as well as lowland regions, and that the environmental conditions, food, and presence of rivals or predators were a crucial part when selecting a nest site.

However, their reproduction behavior would be more or less similar in comparison to other Hadrosaurid dinosaurs.

Fossilized eggs, as well as juvenile dinosaurs, were found in the Dinosaur Park Formation in Canada and the Judith River and Two Medicine Formations of the USA.

Based on the presence of Pisidiid clams and Unionid clams or snails like freshwater mussels around the eggs suggests that their shells dissolved and released sufficient calcium carbonate to protect the eggshells from naturally occurring acids, in return, preserving the fossils.

In addition, a few juvenile fossils including dentaries, limb and feet bones, and the vertebral centra were retrieved.

Prosaurolophus Fun Facts

What did a Prosaurolophus look like?

These were small Hadrosaurids. The Prosaurolophus skull was large and flattened with a duck-billed mouth in front.

Its snout was stout and small with a triangle-shaped crest around the eyes. It is speculated that these dinosaurs had soft tissue growths such as inflatable nasal sacs since their crest is known to have grown in an isometric formation.

There were suggestions that the Prosaurolophus had webbed feet, but recent discoveries claim that their feet could have been padded as well. The specimen of this species proves that it had a large, elongated body, a massive rib cage, and a thick, stiff tail.

The P. maximus species has a smaller skull in comparison to the large crest and skull of the P. blackfeetensis.

In addition, the crest of the latter was more pronounced and extended closer towards the eyes upon reaching maturity. The crest was concave and scooped on the sides, and is speculated to have been present as some form of protection to the eyes.

They had teeth that were continuously replaced. Out of hundreds of teeth, only a few were used at a time.

The Prosaurolophus had a very unique shape for a skull

How many bones did a Prosaurolophus have?

The exact number of bones in the P. maximus species has not been recorded based on the available evidence.

How did they communicate?

The exact communication pattern or behavior of the Prosaurolophus is unknown. However, research suggests that they traveled in herds and the Prosaurolophus sound or vocalizations may have been used to keep all members on track.

How big was a Prosaurolophus?

The fossil remains suggest that the Prosaurolophus size compared to other Hadrosaurids was on a smaller scale. They had a body length of around 26 ft (7.9 m), similar to the largest recorded great white shark. The height of these dinosaurs is measured at 14 ft (4.3 m), which is double the height of a full-grown ostrich.

How fast could a Prosaurolophus move?

The exact speed at which the Prosaurolophus could move is unknown. However, it is known that these animals were bipedal as well as quadrupedal.

It is speculated that they would move on all fours when eating or walking casually. Evidence suggests that when threatened, they would use only their hind legs to run efficiently.

Another feature about their movements is that they lived with a cathemeral pattern, which means they would use intervals during the night and day to socialize and hunt, instead of being completely nocturnal or diurnal.

How much did a Prosaurolophus weigh?

The Prosaurolophus weighed around 9,920.8 lb (4,500 kg), which is around two times the average weight of the white rhinoceros.

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dinosaurs of this species do not have separate. They share a common name, P. maxiumus, which was described by Barnum Brown.

What would you call a baby Prosaurolophus?

The young would be called a hatchling, nestling, or juvenile.

What did they eat?

With its duck-billed mouth, the Prosaurolophus was designed to eat thick vegetation. Based on their skull, it is known that they could do prolonged grinding motions, and evidence suggests that these dinosaurs may have been grazers.

Recently discovered a fossilized fecal matter of these dinosaurs suggests that they ate decomposing tree barks and fungi. However, the shape of its beak seems to have been suitable to clip leaves and branches from trees which were around 13 ft (4 m) above ground level.

How aggressive were they?

These were herbivorous animals, which means it is highly unlikely that they were aggressive.

Did you know...

The discovery of this species was quite significant to scientists because they have revealed substantial information about their living conditions and social behavior.

What is special about the Prosaurolophus?

The Prosaurolophus had a unique duck-like beak instead of an upper jaw which was designed to make a distinctive shearing effect used to grind the toughest and most fibrous plants.

How did the Prosaurolophus protect itself?

Not much is known about their defense mechanisms, but it is known that they would only use their hind legs to run from predators because doing so provided quicker movements.

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 Draconyx facts and Yinlong facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Prosaurolophus coloring pages.

Main image by Steveoc 86

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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