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Duckbill dinosaur’s skull solves long-standing crest mystery

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A newly-discovered, exceptionally well-preserved skull of the duckbill dinosaur Parasaurolophus answers questions about its signature crest and family tree.

Parasaurolophus is instantly recognizable due to the giant crest that starts at its nose and arches back over the top of its head. But recovered specimens haven’t had skulls that preserved the iconic crest very well—until now.

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An illustration of the duckbill dinosaur with it's head crest
Parasaurolophus. (Credit: Andrey Atuchin)

The skull, recovered from the badlands of New Mexico, answers questions concerning the overall structure and function of the crest and establishes relationships between this species and other North American Parasaurolophus species.

Research on the find appears in PeerJ.

Here, Terry Gates, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University, discusses the find and what it shows about the creature’s family tree:

Additional coauthors are from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Source: NC State

Original Study DOI: 10.7717/peerj.10669

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