Gryposaurus (pronounced 'GRYE-puh-SAWR-us') means 'hooked-nose lizard' and was a duck-billed (hadrosaur) dinosaur that lived 83-75 million years ago in North America. Its remains have been found in Montana, Utah, and Alberta. Its most distinctive feature is its large, arching, humped nose which distinguishes it from other hadrosaurs. It was 8-9 m long, which is pretty typical for duck-billed dinosaurs. Almost the entire skeleton is known, making it a good dinosaur to use in comparison to other lesser-known animals.
|The head of Gryposaurus showing the nasal hump. Image by Wikimedia Commons user ArthurWeasley.|
Like other hadrosaurs, Gryposaurus was capable of walking on 2 or 4 legs, and was a herbivore. It used its hundreds of flat teeth to grind tough vegetation, and had a cheek to allow for chewing. The function of the nasal hump is not entirely known, but was likely used for social functions like sex recognition. Many hadrosaurs have nasal or cranial ornamentation for a variety of functions, and Gryposaurus is no different!
Stay tuned next week when we move on to 'H' and a small theropod dinosaur!
Other 'G' Dinosaurs from Alberta: