Tuesday, March 05, 2013


At the end of the Cretaceous Period (about 65 million years ago), the most common Dinosaurs were the plant-eating Hadrosaur Family, who lived throughout Eurasia and North America. Unlike many other Dinosaurs, the Hadrosaurs spent their entire evolutionary lives in one period – the Cretaceous (about 80 million years in duration). These Dinosaurs were in the Order of Ornithischians (Bird-hipped Dinosaurs), and had thick-bodies, stiff tails, and tough beaks. The Hadrosaur Family became well-known for their famous duck-bills, distinctive crests, and remarkable teeth.
            When naturalists first discovered the Hadrosaurs in the 1850s, they were fascinated by the duck-like mouths. Since these Dinosaurs had “duck bills”, the scientists reasoned that They lived like Ducks. However later discoveries proved that these first scientists were mistaken. The Hadrosaur Family were, in fact, land-dwelling Dinosaurs, who roamed in large herds across the flatlands.
            Today, scientists divide the Hadrosaur Family into three groups based on the characteristics of their crests and duck-bills. The first group is the transitional Dinosaurs from the Iguanodon Family to the “true” Hadrosaurs. The second group, the Hadrosaurinae (which includes Hadrosaurus and Maiasaura) has solid or small crests, and wider, more rounded snouts. The third group is the Lambeosaurines, who have hollow crests and shorter snouts. Of this group, Lambeosaurus and Parasaurolophus were known for their “big honking noses.”
            Living in vast herds, the Hadrosaur Family were considered the “Sheep” or “Cows” of the Cretaceous Period, since They browsed on low-lying plants such as berries, ferns, and small pine-trees.  What made the Hadrosaur Family a successful group of Dinosaurs were their teeth and jaws. Their teeth formed a dental battery, with hundreds of teeth, which acted like two rasps grinding against each other. Meanwhile, their upper jaws would swing outward and scrape their teeth against the lower jaw. In this manner, Hadrosaurs could turn their food into mush for easier digestion. (Mammals and Reptiles do not chew their food this way.)
            Enter the peaceful world of the Hadrosaur Family. Imagine a vast herd of Dinosaurs serenely browsing ferns on the flatlands of North America. As They slowly move across the land, various Dinosaurs hoot contentedly to each other. Meanwhile, several Hadrosaurs are on guard for a predatory Tyrannosaur rex. Feel safe and protected amongst these plant eaters. Join Them and be surrounded by the security and peace that Hadrosaurs offer.

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