STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 November 2011

And in Walks a Lambeosaurus

Lambeosaurus (Lambeosaurus lambei- type species), named after Lawrence Lambe, the prolific Canadian paleontologist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was actually discovered by Lambe twenty years before its name was appropriated. Lambe spent some of that time studying the remains before moving on to other dinosaurs, such as the genus Edmontosaurus which he coined, and described and named his last dinosaur, Panoplosaurus, shortly before his passing in 1919. Four years later William Parks, another Canadian paleontologist, published the name and description of Lambeosaurus in honor of the recently deceased Lambe.

Lambeosaurus is a highly distinctive genus of hadrosaur. The crest which the genus typically possesses follows a general pattern of looking, in profile, like a great dome extended upward from the forehead arching up to the back of the skull in its furthest rearward reaches. Lambeosaurus was a rather large hadrosaur in even its smallest species, of which four are recognized as valid animals. The remained of the body of Lambeosaurus is of the typical hadrosaur arrangement from the wide short tail to the almost hand-like gracile forepaws and the dental batteries on the forward ends. Locomotion was both bipedal and quadrupedal in Lambeosaurs and the bipedal running motion of the animals was probably, aside from the sonic abilities to warn the heard of predators, the number one defense against predatory dinosaurs. Unlike many dinosaurs capable of quadrupedal browsing and bipedal running, the fifth finger on the forepaws of Lambeosaurus was somewhat less limited in its range of movement and seems to have possessed the ability to manipulate objects through simple grasping, as if it was a very primitive non-opposed thumb. Digits 2, 3, and 4 made up the hindpaws, as in most hadrosaurs and other dinosaurs at this time.

Tomorrow: Crest talk.

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