Hadrosaurid (duck-billed) dinosaurs
Evans, David C. Department of Natural History (Paleobiology), Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, Canada.
- Evolutionary relationships
- Distribution and migration
- Exceptional preservation
- Life history and social behavior
- Additional Readings
Hadrosaurids, popularly known as duck-billed dinosaurs, comprise a highly diverse natural group (a clade) of plant-eating dinosaurs that evolved in the Late Cretaceous period (approximately 100–65 million years ago) [Fig. 1]. Hadrosaurids have the distinction of being the best-known dinosaur group in terms of the completeness of their fossil record. Hadrosaurids are known from hundreds of nearly complete fossil skeletons, including juvenile and embryonic skeletons, and thousands of isolated bones and teeth. Skin impressions and other soft tissue traces (including the original soft tissues themselves), footprints and trackways, and stomach contents have been described. Intact eggs and nests, as well as eggshells, are also relatively well known. Because of this incredible record, hadrosaurids have contributed significantly to the overall understanding of dinosaur biology.
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