“Well, this is more my speed... a Parasaurolophus. Its distinctive crested head presents a challenge to scientists... an evolutionary dead-end that we now realise is highly effective. This is what Jurassic research should be about.”
- - Dr. Kajal Dua
Parasaurolophus is a genus of hadrosaurid dinosaur that originated from Late Cretaceous North America. Instantly recognisable due to its elongated head crest, Parasaurolophus congregates in herds consisting of both its own species, and other herbivores. Parasaurolophus are first unlocked by the Hammond Foundation on Isla Tacaño.
Originating in Late Cretaceous North America, Parasaurolophus was among the first species cloned by InGen for Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. By 1993, a herd of fifteen animals was present on Nublar, while thirteen were present on InGen's Site B facility on nearby Isla Sorna. After the park was abandoned in 1993, continued attacks by Nublar's Tyrannosaurus had reduced the Parasaur population on the island to nine by 1994, with the remaining animals congregating close to other large herbivores for protection.
After the abandonment of Isla Sorna soon after the Jurassic Park Incident, the Parasaurolophus on the island, as with the other species of dinosaur, were left to fend for themselves. In 1997, during a mission to round up Sorna's dinosaurs, several Parasaurolophus were sighted on the island, living alongside Gallimimus, Pachycephalosaurus and Mamenchisaurus. Several of these Parasaurs were briefly captured by InGen.
In 2001, several Parasaurolophus were briefly encountered by the survivors of a plane crash on the island, living in a mixed herd with Corythosaurus, which had been illegally bred on Sorna in 1999 as early research and development for the eventual creation of Jurassic World.
Upon the opening of Jurassic World in 2004, Parasaurolophus was one of the many species exhibited on Isla Nublar, living peacefully alongside other species of herbivore as they had on Isla Sorna. Juvenile Parasaurs could be approached by visitors in the Gentle Giants petting zoo, while adults were seen congregating in the Gyrosphere Valley. Three years after the abandonment of the park, many Parasaurolophus were successfully transported to the mainland by mercenaries led by Ken Wheatley. These specimens were later released from their cages alongside numerous other species of dinosaurs, into the wilds of northern California.
Parasaurolophus is characteristically similar to the other hadrosaurs, with moderately long lifespans and fairly good resistance to illness. It differs in that it can be kept in a small exhibit than the others, though a larger enclosure will be required for a herd mixed with other dinosaurs. Its incubation cost is also quite low in comparison, but it is defenceless against large carnivores.
Parasaurolophus is a social animal that needs to be kept in a herd of at least four other individuals. They can mix well with other hadrosaurs and herding animals such as Muttaburrasaurus. They prefer open exhibits with mostly plains and grasslands dotted with patches of forest.
Parasaurolophus, or Parasaur for short, is the most popular hadrosaurs in media and art, thanks to its distinctive headcrest. The crest was a point of discussion for many years since the genus was discovered in 1922. Some early palaeontologists thought it was used as a defensive weapon or as a way to push branches out of the way as it roamed through dense growth. The strangest idea was the theory that the crest was a snorkel used to breathe as the dinosaur swam, when hadrosaurs were believed to be aquatic animals. The most common belief, especially in modern times and for all other crested hadrosaurs, is that the crests were used as an amplifying chamber for communication, as well as for displaying to mates.
Parasaurolophus lived alongside other hadrosaurs such as Corythosaurus, ceratopsians such as Chasmosaurus and Pentaceratops, orinithomimids like Struthiomimus, ankylosaurids and tyrannosaurids. Its remains have been found in the Kirtland and Dinosaur Park formations.
Parasaurolophus' name means 'Near Crested Lizard', as early palaeontologists believed this dinosaur was a direct relative of a genus called Saurolophus. However, although both of these dinosaurs are hadrosaurs, they belong to different branches of the family and Saurolophus is more closely related to Edmontosaurus and Maiasaura. Saurolophus is found in both North America and Asia.
- Parasaurolophus was the eighth dinosaur to receive a Species Profile, on 9 March 2018.
- The base genome of the Parasaurolophus is based on its appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and like its film counterpart, walks primarily on two legs but sometimes on four legs when eating or drinking, while in reality, they're believed to have been primarily quadrupedal and only bipedal when running.
- Parasaurolophus was the second dinosaur revealed in-game, being seen hunted by the Tyrannosaurus in the first trailer for Jurassic World Evolution.
- Parasaurolophus previously appeared in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, considered by many to be Jurassic World Evolution's spiritual predecessor.
- Parasaurolophus fossils can be found in the Nemegt Formation in Asia, despite originating from North America in reality. This may be a reference to Saurolophus, which Parasaurolophus' name references, or the similar dinosaur Charonosaurus, which is found in the Yuliangze Formation.
Parasaurolophus on Wikipedia