Lambeosaurus was first named in 1923, despite some poorly preserved fossils being found and described about 20 years earlier by well-known Canadian palaeontologist Lawrence Lambe, which is where the name comes from. In fact, the type species is called Lambeosaurus lambei, with both the genus and specific epithet honouring for Lambe. It lived during the Late Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago. To repeat what I've said many times before about hadrosaurs, like others, it was capable of walking on two or four legs, or as we say, it was a 'facultative biped', which means it was capable of either. It was also a herbivore, and used its large 'battery' of teeth to grind down tough vegetation, and had a cheek-like structure that allowed it to chew its food. Another similarity to other hadrosaurs that I haven't mentioned previously is that it had 'ossified tendons' in its tail, which means the tendons were strengthened to keep the tail stiff. Lambeosaurus is also the type species for the group of hadrosaurs that typically have large, hollow cranial crests (the Lambeosaurinae), and it is no exception. These crests have a nasal cavity that runs through it, making it hollow, and was likely used to make noise for species recognition or social uses . This is also supported by the fact that the crests are only present in adult individuals, and are not found in juveniles.
|Artists impression of Lambeosaurus magnicristatus showing the large cranial crest|
|Artists impression of possible growth stages and male/female variation within Lambeosaurus. Image by Nobu Tamura|
That's it for Lambeosaurus! Next week, we'll talk about a ceratopsian dinosaur from southern Alberta.
Other dinosaurs from Alberta that start with 'L':
1. Horner, J. R. et al. 2004. Hadrosauridae. In: Weishampel, D.B., Dodson, P., and Osmolska, H. (eds) The Dinosauria (2nd edition). Berkeley: University of California Press pp. 438-463.
2. Dodson, P. 1975. Taxonomic implications of relative growth in lambeosaurine dinosaurs. Systematic Zoology 24: 37-54.
3. Horner, J.R. 1979. Upper Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Bearpaw Shale (marine) of south-central Montana with a checklist of Upper Cretaceous dinosaur remains from marine sediments in North America. Journal of Paleontology 53: 566-577.
4. Eberth, D.A. The geology. Dinosaur Provincial Park. Indiana University Press, Bloomington (2005): 54-82.