17 November 2016

Dinovember 2016, Day 17

A big, arched nose and fun in the mud: Gryposaurus is my kind of dinosaur.
Name: Gryposaurus monumentensis
Meaning: [Grand Staircase-Escalante National] Monument hook-nosed reptile
Time: Late Cretaceous, c 76 million years ago
Place: Utah
Size: generally about 8-9 metres (26.2-29.5 feet) long and 3-4 tonnes (3.3-4.4 tons) or so, but larger material from Utah referred to this species suggests large individuals of at least 12 metres (39.4 feet) and probably 8-10 tonnes (8.8-11 tons)
Type of Dinosaur: kritosaurin saurolophine (Roman-nosed duckbill dinosaur)

Gryposaurus is a duckbill near and dear to my heart - we have very similar nose shapes. Additionally, while saurolophine duckbills are more often overshadowed by their hollow-crested lambeosaurine cousins, Gryposaurus had the big size and burly build to make it just as impressive as its more elaborately-adorned kin. These Gryposaurus are enjoying a mud wallow, something I believe many dinosaurs would have done just like many big animals today. The huge individual at the back represents the larger known material, while the smaller ones at the front still have a lot of growing to do; in most dinosaur communities, adolescent animals that were capable of breeding but still were far from 'full size' would have really dominated, as opposed to really big adult animals.

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