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The Outstanding Ouranosaurus

Prehistoric Creature of the Week
The+Outstanding+Ouranosaurus

The Ouranosaurus Nigeriensis (ore-ANN-oh-SORE-us) is a herbivores Hadrosaur (Duck-billed dinosaur) that lived in northern Africa during the mid Cretaceous around 115 million years ago. The Ouranosaurus weighed four tons and was around twenty-three feet long.

Originally thought to be a close relative of the Iguanodon, the Ouranosaurus was later classified as a Hadrosaur. Ouranosaurus featured a row of spines jutting out of its back. These spines indicate it could have possessed a sail similar to Spinosaurus or Dimetrodon. One thing unclear to paleontologists is why Ouranosaurus would need a sail in the first place. One speculation is the sail was used to regulate body temperature, assuming it was a cold-blooded reptile. Another theory is that the sail was used for attracting mates.

Ouranosaurus possessed an odd shaped head. Its head was long and flat unlike other Hadrosaurs, and didn’t have any of the ornamental features that later Hadrosaurs had. It’s believed that Ouranosaurus likely had the ability to run on its hind legs when running from predators. Which would have been an endangerment of any small dinosaurs and habitats in the nearby area.

 

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Sources:

https://www.thoughtco.com/ouranosaurus-1092931 

Picture from dinopedia

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About the Contributor
Trey Woodson, Reporter
I am a Senior, and I've been at UMA for three years. I want to be a paleontologist. I enjoy listening to 80's music, watching movies, and playing with my dogs. An interesting fact about me is I own a 6' tall cardboard cutout of Smokey the Bear.
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