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Aralosaurus
Fossil range: Late Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Family: Hadrosauridae
Subfamily: Hadrosaurinae
Genus: Aralosaurus
Species: A. tuberiferus
Binomial name
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, around 95 to 80 million years ago, and was capable of both bipedal and quadrupedal movement. Egg clusters show that Aralosaurus lived in herds and had locations for laying eggs where they would be safe. Several relatives, such as Jaxartosaurus have also been found in the surrounding area where Aralosaurus was found.

Description

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

  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.
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