Corythosaurus ("helmet lizard") was a duck-billed dinosaur species from the Upper Cretaceous time, about 80 million years ago. It lived in North America.
The first specimen was exposed in 1912 by Barnum Brown in Red Deer River, Alberta, Canada. As well as an approximately complete skeleton, the find was remarkable because much of the creature's fossilized skin had also survived. In 1916, the British ship Mount Temple was carrying two specimens from America to Britain. It was ruined by a German U-boat, sending its 80 million year older cargo to the bottom of the sea, where it rests to this day.
An herbivorous swamp-dweller, it lived in herds and fed on low-growing plants and fruits.
The beak contained no teeth, but the jaw was lined with hundreds of small, sharp teeth that were constantly replaced as they wore down and fell out.
Having webbed feet and hands, together with a flat, blade-like tail suggests that Corythosaurus spent much time actually in the water. The head crest was filled with nasal passages and probably served as a sounding device. Corythosaurus weighed in at 4 tonnes and measured 10 meters from nose to tail.
Over 20 skulls have been establish from this dinosaur, which makes it the most known of all USA’s duck-beaked dinosaurs. Tall, hollow bone-crests are some of the individuality of the Lambeosaurids, which this large dinosaur belonged to. It is confusing, that not all Corythosaurs had the same type of crest on their heads. The size and shape depended on the sexual category and age. Before that was discovered, up to seven dissimilar species were found. Now only one of them has been approved.
The Corythosaurus was found in the American Museum of Natural History. In herds, they have wandered from side to side the forests eating low-growing plants. During their walks, they sometimes met other Hadrosaurids. Some of the Corythosaurus-bones were establish next to several other fossils of Gryposaurs, Prosaurolophus’, Lambeosaurs and the Parasaurolophus. If the herds got mixed up, their crest and a sharp olfactory sense would have been a great help to return to their own group. The combs must also have been used to draw females; it might even have changed color. Just alike to the other Hadrosaurids, they could use the comb as a "trumpet" to converse.
Scientists have many ideas about Corythosaurus crest. It used its crest to make honking sounds or better sense of smell or to cool itself.