Duck billed dinosaur

24 Jul 2019

At https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/tfg-sns071219.php ... a strange looking dinosaur but apparently a fairly common herbivore. It has a nose suitable for shovelling that resembles that of an eagle - but is described as duck billed. In other words it had what looks like an ornamental head that probably evolved for a specific way of feeding - an arched nasal crest. It is said to be a primitive form of hadrosaurid and yet dates to the middle Cretaceous (fairly late in the dinosaur era). It was a herbovore and they were common - providing meals for the big predators. The cupped beak was used to crop plants and vegetation. However, this particular species is thought to have used its strange fact to crop aquatic plants from tidal marshes.

The bone was fossilised in thick ironstone. This is thought to derive from boggy places such as tidal flats - or even river and stream flood plains. Ironstone deposits exist in the Jurassic/Cretaceous period and might be worth some exploration.