(meaning 'Edmonton [Formation] lizard') is a genus
of crestless duck-billed dinosaur
. The fossils
of this animal have been found in rocks of western North America that date from the late Campanian stage
to the end of the Maastrichtian
stage of the Cretaceous Period
, between 73 and 65.5 million years ago. It was one of the last non-avian
dinosaurs, and lived alongside Triceratops
shortly before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event
was one of the largest hadrosaurids
, measuring up to 13 meters (43 ft) long and weighing around 4.0 metric tons (4.4 short tons). It is known from several well-preserved specimens that include not only bones, but in some cases extensive skin impressions and possible gut contents.
Edmontosaurus has a lengthy and complicated taxonomic history dating to the late 19th century. Various species classified with genera such as Claosaurus, Thespesius, Trachodon, and the well-known but now defunct genus Anatosaurus are now regarded as belonging to Edmontosaurus. The first fossils named Edmontosaurus were discovered in southern Alberta, Canada, in what used to be called the lower Edmonton Formation. The type species, E. regalis, was named by Lawrence Lambe in 1917, although several other species that are now classified in Edmontosaurus were named earlier. The best known of these is E. annectens, originally named by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1892 as Claosaurus annectens and known for many years as Anatosaurus annectens.
Edmontosaurus was widely distributed across western North America. The distribution of Edmontosaurus fossils suggests that it preferred coasts and coastal plains. It was an herbivore that could move on both two legs and four. Because it is known from several bone beds, Edmontosaurus is thought to have lived in groups, and may have been migratory as well. The wealth of fossils has allowed researchers to study its paleobiology in detail, including its brain, how it may have fed, and its injuries and pathologies, such as evidence for a tyrannosaur attack on one edmontosaur specimen. (see more...)