Many of the most interesting dinosaurs were the large, violent types like T-rex. We enjoy watching these unstoppable prehistoric forces tear their way through fictional parks and feast on others. In fact, we have even imagined how fictional dinosaurs, like Indominus rex, would fare against real ones. Yet, we should also turn our focus away from these carnivores from time to time and concentrate on interesting, mysterious herbivores. Today, we’re going to compare Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus and show you how they were different from one another.
Comparing a Hadrosaurus and a Parasaurolophus
|Weight: 4,400-8800 lbs
Length: 23-26 ft
|Weight: 4,000-5,600 lbs (possibly up to 8,000 lbs)
|– Facultative biped that ran on two legs and walked on four
– Duckbills, elongated snouts, and toothless beaks
– Had cheek teeth to grind on food
– Possessed a relatively short crest on the top of its head
– Thick body relative to head and legs
– Much larger rear legs than forelegs
|– Large cranial crest that arched over the back of the skull with many potential uses including identification, making sounds, and more
– Duck-billed dinosaur
– Both bipedal and quadrupedal – Smaller forelegs that could help the animal walk on
– Thick body
– Skin frill on its back
|– Hadrosaurus foulkii
|– Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus
– Parasaurolophus tubicen
– Parasaurolophus walkeri
|North America and maybe China
|84-70 million years ago
|76-74 million years ago
The Key Differences Between a Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus
The greatest differences between a Hadrosaurus and Parasaurolophus lie in their morphology, size, and the area in which they lived. The Hadrosaurus was a facultative biped with a duckbill, thick body, and a short crest that lived 70 million years ago in North America, and the Parasaurolophus was an herbivorous duck-billed dinosaur with a large cranial crest that arched over its head with a skin frill running down its back that lived 73 million years ago in North America and perhaps China.
These are pronounced differences between the two dinosaurs. Yet, we can go further in-depth with these differences to discover the unique qualities of these dinosaurs.
Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus: Size
The Parasaurolophus was larger than the Hadrosaurus, but it may have weighed less. The Hadrosaurus weighed up to 8,800 lbs, grew up to 10 ft tall, and measured 26 ft long. The Parasaurolophus weighed up to 5,600 lbs or 8,000 lbs, measured 16 ft tall, and grew up to 31 ft long.
It’s important to mention that humans do not have many different complete fossils of these dinosaurs. Thus, it’s hard to say for certain how large they grew and how much they weighed. Interestingly, the Hadrosaurus was the first mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world, dating back to the 19th century.
Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus: Morphology
The morphological differences between these two dinosaurs are the most significant ones between them. The Parasaurolophus stands out because of the large crest that it has on its head. This crest was several feet long and arched over the head of the dinosaur. Scientists have many ideas about its purpose.
Although it may have been a temperature regulating element of its anatomy, it was probably used for communicating with its species such as making sounds to warn of predators. The dinosaur also had a skin frill on its back, but it wasn’t very large and did not add to the dinosaur’s height in a significant way.
Both dinosaurs were duck-billed, and they were facultative bipeds that could run on two legs or move on four. However, some scientists think that the dinosaurs moved mostly on four legs as adults. Also, both the Hadrosaurus and the Parasaurolophus had unusually thick bodies relative to their head, neck, and legs.
The Hadrosaurus had cheek teeth to grind the plants it ate and also had much larger rear legs relative to its forelegs. This dinosaur also had a smaller crest than the Parasaurolophus, but it probably served the same purpose and was most likely not a snorkel.
Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus: Species
Only one species of Hadrosaurus existed and it was called Hadrosaurus foulkii. However, three Parasaurolophus species existed, and they were called Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus, Parasaurolophus tubicen, and Parasaurolophus walker.
Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus: Location
The Hadrosaurus lived in North America, and it has been found particularly in New Jersey. However, the three species of the Parasaurolophus were more widespread. They were found in the eastern and western thirds of North America, especially Utah. Apparently, a species related to Parasaurolophus may have been discovered in China as well.
Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus: Era
Hadrosaurus lived from about 84 million years ago to 70 million years ago. Parasaurolophus lived from 76 to 74 million years ago. Neither creature was around during the extinction event that led to the end of the dinosaurs.
Hadrosaurus vs Parasaurolophus: Who Would Win in a Fight?
The Parasaurolophus would win a fight against Hadrosaurus. The truth is that these two dinosaurs were both herbivores. The chances of them fighting were very slim, even if they had lived at the same time and areas. Simply put, size would be the deciding factor here because the creatures would probably have to bash each other to death with kicks, stomps, or headbutts.
The large Parasaurolophus skull combined with its height, length, and weight would give it enough power to overwhelm and potentially kill the other dinosaur. However, this is a tough fight to call. We don’t have an overwhelming amount of information about these dinosaurs, and they were not exactly carnivores.
Although some herbivores, like Triceratops, may have been poised to repel attacks with their horns, these two dinosaurs were not. They did not possess much aside from their size that would have given them an edge in a fight. With that in mind, we’re just going to call this fight based on size and potential weight, even though Hadrosaurus may have weighed more.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com
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