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Fossilized skull reveals how crested dinosaur got its fancy headgear

January 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 48.7%. 1 min read.

Fruitland, grant funded art work for Earth Sciences Department.

Best known for its bizarre Elvis-style pompadour crest, Parasaurolophus is one of the world's most recognizable dinosaurs -- a staple of childhood books and a background player in the Jurassic Park movie franchise.

(CNN)First discovered in 1922 and best known for its distinctive crest, Parasaurolophus is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs -- a staple of childhood books and a background player in the Jurassic Park movie franchise.

An exceptionally well-preserved fossilized skull found in New Mexico in 2017 -- the first to be found in 97 years -- has revealed new details about its bizarre Elvis-style pompadour.

"Over the past 100 years, ideas for the purpose of the exaggerated tube crest have ranged from snorkels to super sniffers," said David Evans, the Temerty chair in vertebrate palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

"The preservation of this new skull is spectacular, finally revealing in detail the bones that make up the crest of this amazing dinosaur known by nearly every dinosaur-obsessed kid," said Joe Sertich, curator of dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the leader of the team who discovered the specimen.

Sertich and his team discovered the partial skull in 2017 while exploring the badlands of northwestern New Mexico.

The skull belonged to Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus, previously known from a single specimen collected in the same region of New Mexico in 1923 by legendary fossil hunter Charles H.

It has a shorter, more curved crest than other species of this dinosaur -- although this may be related to its age at death.

There are three species of Parasaurolophus currently recognized, with fossils found in New Mexico and Alberta and dating between 77 million and 73. 5 million years ago.

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