Edmontosaurus has a long and convoluted history. In 1892, American paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh described a new species of ‘duck-billed dinosaur’ collected in 1891 from Wyoming, called Claosaurus annectens. Later, in 1917, Canadian paleontologist Lawrence Lambe named another new dinosaur, Edmontosaurus regalis. Claosaurus annectens was actually distinct from other species of Claosaurus, but very similar to Edmontosaurus, and so Marsh’s dinosaur species was eventually placed into Edmontosaurus as a distinct species of that genus: Edmontosaurus annectens. Despite having been referred to several other duck-billed dinosaur genera over the years (e.g. Trachodon, Anatosaurus, Anatotitan), Edmontosaurus annectens is today regarded as one of two distinct and valid species of Edmontosaurus.
The genus name refers to Edmonton, Canada, the capital city of Alberta, where many specimens of Edmontosaurus have been unearthed. Edmontosaurus annectens is known from multiple specimens, including at least 22 skulls, five complete skeletons, and many partial skeletons. These remains have been found all over North America, including Alberta, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. A spectacular ‘mummified’ Edmontosaurus, discovered in 1908, even provided some of the first detailed information on dinosaur skin and soft anatomy. This wealth of fossil material makes Edmontosaurus one of the best known dinosaurs.
When Edmontosaurus was first discovered it was thought to be amphibious, but duck-billed dinosaurs were actually fully terrestrial. It lived its entire life on land and used its sturdy limbs and hoof-like claws to support its weight. Its broad duck-like ‘bill’ helped it to strip leaves from pine trees, and it used its batteries of hundreds of tightly packed teeth to grind down the tough plant material.
This massive but peaceful dinosaur lived in herds during late Cretaceous times, around 66 million years ago, and was one of the last ‘duck-billed dinosaurs’. It shared its habitat with variety of famous dinosaurs including the plant-eating Triceratops and the meat-eating T. rex. The latter hunted Edmontosaurus for food.
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in cm: 16 L x 5.2 W x 10 H
- Size in inches: 6.3 L x 2.05 W x 3.94 H
- UPC: 095866302108
Commonly hunted by T rex during the Cretaceous period 70 million years ago, this plant-eater measured up to 43 ft. long and weighed around 4,000 lbs. They lived in groups similar to cows today and inhabited the coastal regions of western North America.