Named By: Elizabeth A. Friedman Fowler & John R. Horner - 2015.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Ornithopoda, Hadrosauroidea, Hadrosauridae, Saurolophinae.
Species: P. bergei (type).
Size: Holotype Estimated at up to 9 meters long. Possibly slightly larger when fully grown.
Known locations: USA, Montana - Judith River Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and post cranial remains.
described in 2015, Probrachylophosaurus made
headlines around the
world, when it was often dubbed ‘superduck’. This was because
Probrachylophosaurus was proposed to be the
transitional link between
the non-crested genus Acristavus,
and the later Brachylophosaurus
which has a flat paddle shaped bony crest. Probrachylophosaurus
itself has a much smaller triangular crest which shows us how the crest
of Brachylophosaurus developed. The name Probrachylophosaurus
broken down to simply mean ‘Before Brachylophosaurus’.
Brachylophosaurus itself means ‘’short crested
lizard’, so an
alternate translation for Probrachylophosaurus can
be ‘before short
Probrachylophosaurus is classed as a saurolophine hadrosaurid dinosaur, a kind typified by solid crests of bone, usually small, and sometimes absent in some genera. The crest in Probrachylophosaurus was comparatively small when compared to the later Brachylophosaurus, but while we know the extent of the bony part, we don’t yet know if this was a support for a larger fleshy display structure. This question has now been raised for many saurolphine hadrosaurs ever since it was confirmed that at least one species of the saurolophine hadrosaur Edmontosaurus had a fleshy comb on top of its head where other genera have bony crests.
Analysis of the growth patterns in the bones of the holotype have indicated that this individual was about fourteen years old when if died. Further analysis however also shows that this individual was not fully grown, and that while the holotype individual has been estimated to be about nine meters long, even older animals might possibly slightly larger.
- A New Brachylophosaurin Hadrosaur (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) with an Intermediate Nasal Crest from the Campanian Judith River Formation of Northcentral Montana. - PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (11). - Elizabeth A. Friedman Fowler & John R. Horner - 2015.