Aralosaurus

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Aralosaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 85.8Ma
Aralosaurus skull.png
Skull of Aralosaurus. Known material white
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Clade: Ornithopoda
Family: Hadrosauridae
Tribe: Aralosaurini
Genus: Aralosaurus
Rozhdestvensky, 1968
Type species
Aralosaurus tuberiferus
Rozhdestvensky, 1968

Aralosaurus (ar-ahl-o-SORE-us) meaning "Aral Sea lizard", because it was found in the Aral Sea (Greek sauros = lizard) was a genus of hadrosaurid dinosaur which lived during the Late Cretaceous of what is now Kazakhstan.[1] Aralosaurus was characterized by a small, bony peak on its nose, much like its relatives Maiasaura and Gryposaurus.[1]

Aralosaurus was a herbivore that lived in the late Cretaceous period, sometime between 93.5 and 85.8 million years ago.[2] Several relatives, such as Jaxartosaurus have also been found in the surrounding area where Aralosaurus was found.

Description[edit]

Aralosaurus was about the size of an elephant. Although very little is known about Aralosaurus (only one near complete skull has been found);[1] it was identified by a beak with nearly 1,000 small teeth in 30 rows.[1] These teeth were used for breaking up plant matter by chewing, a feature common in herbivorous dinosaurs, but unusual for reptiles.The back of an Aralosaurus skull was wide, a feature suggestive of large jaw muscles used to power its chewing apparatus.[1]

The nasal peak before the eyes was common to most hadrosaurs. This bump may have also been used as a weapon in duels between males by head butting into one another, much like modern day animals such as rams and goats. It had a thick tail, bulky body and powerful hind legs, all also common with other hadrosaurs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Aralosaurus." In: Dodson, Peter & Britt, Brooks & Carpenter, Kenneth & Forster, Catherine A. & Gillette, David D. & Norell, Mark A. & Olshevsky, George & Parrish, J. Michael & Weishampel, David B. The Age of Dinosaurs. Publications International, LTD. p. 126. ISBN 0-7853-0443-6.
  2. ^ Holtz, Thomas R. Jr. (2012) Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages, Winter 2011 Appendix.