John R. Horner, David B. Weishampel and Catherine A. Forster

in The Dinosauria

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520242098
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941434 | DOI:

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This chapter examines the anatomy, biogeographic distribution, evolutionary patterns, and paleoecology of hydrosaurids. Hadrosauridae is the last major clade of ornithopods to evolve in the Mesozoic. Members of this clade are divided into two clades: Hadrosaurinae or “flat-headed” hadrosaurids and Lambeosaurinae or “crested” hadrosaurids. The most distinctive morphologic characters of hadrosaurids are concentrated in the skull — the development of complex dental batteries, the alterations to the nasal cavity or arch, and the expanded rostrum or snout. Hadrosaurids are widely distributed in North America, central and eastern Asia, Europe, South America, and the Antarctica Peninsula. They were also the dominant terrestrial herbivores of their times. Hadrosaurids were active foragers on ground cover and low arboreal foliage from conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs.

Keywords: hydrosaurids; ornithopods; Hadrosauridae; Hadrosaurinae; Lambeosaurinae

Chapter.  18241 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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