Learn Before You Go
- Scientific Name: Parasaurolophus
- Pronunciation: PAH-rah-saw-ROLL-o-fus
- Name Means: Like crested lizard
- Diet: Herbivore
- Fossils Found: Utah, New Mexico, and Alberta, Canada
- Wikipedia: Parasaurolophus
Touch This Dinosaur
Parasaurolophus likely ran on its back two legs, but ate and rested down on all four. We chose to position this sculpture lying down so it would provide a great photo opportunity for our visitors to take pictures of themselves face to face with a dinosaur.
When visiting the trail, you'll notice this sculpture is the only one not behind a barrier. It was designed to be extra durable to withstand lots of touching, an opportunity that visitors had told us they would appreciate.
What Do Dinosaurs Sound Like?
There is debate among paleontologists about the function of the bony crest on the heads of the Parasaurolophus and other duck-billed dinosaurs. Some scientists have suggested that the crests heightened the sense of smell, and some have argued the crests helped regulate body temperature.
Other paleontologists suspect that Parasaurolophus used its long crest to make sounds to communicate. In one recent study, scientists used CT-scanning to look inside these mysterious crests and reconstruct the brains and nasal cavities of four duck-billed species. Another group of paleontologists and computer scientists worked together to reproduce the likely sound these dinosaurs made when they were alive using precise measurements from a fossilized skull and a powerful 3D computer simulation program. Click here for more information about that study, including a video about the process and sound bites of the approximated vocalization.