STL Science Center

STL Science Center

19 March 2011

A Giant Duck!

Bill of the Duck!

Anatotitan means "Large Duck." Why does it mean Large Duck? Have a look at its skull above! There are other Hadrosaurs out there too. How can we tell the two species, which come from six nearly complete specimens with complete skulls, from the other Hadrosaurs? There aren't any Anatotitan in this picture, but check out a small helping of the diversity of Hadrosaurs:
The Hadrosaurs closest in skull shape to Anatotitan species is Edmontosaurus. Recall that some authors think that Anatotitan may be a synonym for Edmontosaurus. The skulls may give us a good reason why this is so. Check it out for yourself:
That's Anatotitan at the top and Edmontosaurus at the bottom. They are quite similar aren't they? The squamosal and quadrate are certainly different though. These are bones that make up the back of the skull. If you look at them the curve of the back of the skull is certainly different but perhaps compression over time makes up the reason that the Anatotitan skull looks so much thinner top to bottom than Edmontosaurus. We will have to keep looking at evidence!

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