|life reconstruction of Rhinorex condrupus by Christopher DiPiazza.|
Scientists are still not completely sure as to why Rhinorex had such a large nose.It may have been an adaptation for a specific feeding strategy. It also may have been a display adaptation for attracting mates or intimidating rivals. It may have even enabled Rhinorex to make certain sounds. Lambiosaurine hadrosaurs like Parasaurolophus, possessed crests on the tops of their heads for display and sound purposes. It is possible that the lineage Rhinorex was from just applied the strategy to a different part of the skull.
|Reconstruction and photograph of Rhinorex skull. Image from the recent paper, describing Rhinorex, by Terry Gates and Rodney Scheetz.|
Rhinorex was the only well preserved dinosaur fossil found from its specific area thus far. In addition to it's skull there was also some skin impressions found, which look similar to other known hadrosaur skins; fine pebble-like scales. All other dinosaur fossils in Utah from the same time period were found hundreds of miles away and would have likely been adapted to a different kind of habitat. Rhinorex helps fill in gaps previously unknown about Late Cretaceous ecosystems in Utah.
That's all for this week! As always feel free to comment below or on our facebook page! Have a request? Just let me know and I'll make it happen!
T.A. Gates & R. Scheetz (2014): A new saurolophine hadrosaurid (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Campanian of Utah, North America Journal of Systematic Paleontology. doi: 10.1080/14772019.2014.950614