Its name comes from the Greek and means nearby crest lizard, it is a hydrosaurisornithopod dinosaur, meaning that more or less it may look like a duck, this type of dinosaur lived about 80 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period. The Parasaurolophus could walk on two or four legs, lived mainly in what is now Canada and generally in North America. Its skeleton is not completely known, for the most complete specimen it is believed that it was about 10 meters long although it is believed that it could be a little larger, and its head was about 1.6 meters long, being the crest what occupies most of its length. They had a long, flattened tail, and it is believed that they had an excellent sense of hearing and were able to enter the water and swim with their hind legs to escape into the rivers. They could also move their tails from right to left to swim faster and they could even swim in deep water. There are three known species of this dinosaur.
The first Parasaurolophus were found in New Mexico in what is known as the Kirtland Formation, Fruitland and Kaiparowits. His remains were first described in 1922, this description was based on a skull and a partial skeleton and was described by William Parks.
Since then, some isolated remains have been found, but not a complete skeleton. Those on display have been completed with remains of other hydrosaurid dinosaurs. However, its characteristic skull has been found intact and has been used to carry out in-depth research on its anatomy and habits, especially those related to its particular crest.
The other members of the hadrosaurid family were herbivores, had literally hundreds of teeth, which were accommodated in columns and replaced when they were worn down by chewing. Thanks to this system of teeth they could grind their food completely, which was not the case with other plant eaters whose teeth were not as effective and had to be helped by other methods.
They had a beak-shaped snout, much like ducks and when they ate plants and chewed their food, they could reach branches that were up to four meters high. It is also believed that they were very selective in their food choices.
The Parasaurolophus were special because they had a crest, which could be described as a tube protruding above their head, now it is believed that the crest ran from their nose to their shoulders. This ridge is definitely controversial because scientists are still not sure exactly what it was for. Paleontologists are sure that females and males had them in different sizes which allowed them to be differentiated. Another use of the ridge is that it also functioned as a sounding board and undoubtedly helped to regulate its temperature, it is even said that they used it to fight with other males to attract females. The controversy arises because not many specimens are known and it has not been possible to go into too much detail.
One of the theories about its crest is that it was a kind of tube to be able to breathe when submerged in water, although this theory has been refuted by many and today is the least accepted because it is thought that it did not have a hole in the top and therefore could not have worked as a vent. Another hypothesis about the ridge is that it was used to make sounds, some say it would sound more or less like a trumpet or a trombone, to communicate with the dinosaurs that belonged to their herd, perhaps also to attract females, the males would make much louder and deeper sounds because their ridges were much larger.
Because of their particular duck beak and their ability to swim, they are highly portrayed dinosaurs in popular culture, even though they do not play a major role in the movies they play an important role in showing the diversity that dinosaurs could have. This is why he appears in the film Parque Jurásico, in the Serie Dino Rey and Prehistoric Park.