Edmontosaurus Vertebra - 1.88" Fossil with Stand
Edmontosaurus Vertebra - 1.88" Fossil with Stand
Edmontosaurus was a large Ornithischian dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period. Related to Iguanodons, they are known primarily for their "duck-bills" which are in fact elongated rostral bone structures that give the appearance of a beak, but actually housed hundreds of small teeth that allowed these giant herbivores to grind through all manner of plant material, including rotten wood.
This specimen is a 1.88" Edmontosaurus Vertebra recovered from private land on the Hell Creek Formation in Montana. It is estimated to be over 66,000,000 years old and comes with a display stand and certificate of authenticity.
📸 An artist's depiction of the Edmontosaurus
The Duck-Billed Dinosaurs
With a beak-like skull structure to grind berries and twigs, Edmontosaurus was a very unique looking dinosaur. As a descendant of the Iguanodon, it had long and tough forefingers that appeared almost as hooves, letting it move quickly over the Cretaceous landscape.
Edmontosaurus belonged to the larger group of dinosaurs called Hadrosaurs. These herbivores were an important part of the Mesozoic ecosystem and fossils of Edmontosaurus can be found across North America.
📸 An example vertebra from the Edmontosaurus
This specimen is a fossilized vertebra belonging to Edmontosaurus annectens. It was recovered from private land on the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and is over 66 million years old.
Each of these fossils is a unique piece of a prehistoric dinosaur. They are shipped in a sturdy packing carton along with a display stand and certificate of authenticity. It's the perfect addition to any paleontologist's collection!
Several Edmontosaurus and Hadrosaur vertebra fossils are available in the shop and are sold separately by size. You can see them all at the collection below. We have a smaller display case sized specimen available as well.
MORE ABOUT Edmontosaurus and Hadrosaurs
"Hadrosaurs grew rapidly, and quantifying their growth is key to understanding life-history interactions between predators and prey during the Late Cretaceous." ~ Lisa Noelle Cooper, "Relative growth rates of predator and prey dinosaurs reflect effects of predation."
📸 Hadrosaur Evolutionary PAths
The Dinosaur Family Tree
Evolution is inherently fractal, primed to spawn off divergent species specifically adapted to their own environments. Among dinosaurs, there are at least one thousand distinct species, each molded by their surroundings to be best suited for their own survival.
For example, consider Hadrosauridae. Hadrosauridae was a large family of Ornithischian dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period. They had a global distribution and there is significant evidence of migratory behavior in many species, with exception of those at the poles which typically remained in place year round.
📸 Incomplete cranium of Edmontosaurus regalis, dorsal and lateral views - Xing, Mallon, Currie (2017)
Amongst the vast umbrella of Hadrosauridea are dozens of branching species that maintain certain basic characteristics. Descendants of the Iguanodons, Hadrosaurs did not have the specialized first digit on their forelimbs. The three middle fingers were all tipped with hooves, for support, resulting in a largely quadruped animal.
The Hadrosaurs are known primarily for their "duck-bills." This beak-like structure was in fact an elongated rostral bone housing hundreds of small teeth, that allowed these giant herbivores to grind through all manner of plant material, including twigs, berries, coarse plant matter, and even rotten wood.
While certain characteristics appear in every hadrosauridae species, there are important divergences where evolution fractures off into different species. For example, consider the two dueling species of the Edmontosaurus genus.
The Edmontosaurus Branch
Edmontosaurus regalis and Edmontosaurus annectens: At first glance, there seems to be little distinction between them beyond their names, but upon closer inspection the two species diverge from one another in important ways.
E. Regalis appears in the fossil record earlier than its cousin E. Annectens, dating from the Campanian stage of the Cretaceous period, while E. Annectens only appears in the Maastrichtian. Regalis was the bigger of the two species, with a more pronounced skull shape.
A difference in skull shape may seem like a trivial distinction at first, but it draws a clear line between the species. A larger skull allows for a larger cranium, thus the potential for greater intelligence and remarkably different behavior between the two species.
📸 Othneil Marsh (Back Center) and his band of assistants preparing for an 1872 expedition.
The Bone Wars
The study of Edmontosaurus’s species dovetails with one of paleontology’s strangest episodes, the Bone Wars. The original E. annectens uncovered was identified by paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope, though it was then know as Anatosaurus copei.
A few years later his fierce rival Othniel Charles Marsh identified another annectens as Trachodon longiceps. This was only one of many competitions between the pair, who’s conflict saw both the discovery of many fossils and destruction of each other’s specimen in their attempts to ruin each other.
Nothing was off the table for these two men — sabotage, libel, threats, and perhaps even the use of dynamite to scare rivals off were reported. In the end, both men were left financially ruined, but through their exploits over 130 new species of dinosaurs had been discovered.
DONALD R. PROTHERO. “APATOSAURUS AND BRONTOSAURUS: MARSH, COPE, AND THE BONE WARS.” The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries. Columbia University Press, 2019. 95–. Web.
Eberth, David A., David C. Evans, and Patricia E. Ralrick. Hadrosaurs. Ed. David A. Eberth and David C. (David Christopher) Evans. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015. Print.
Norell, Mark. The World of Dinosaurs: An Illustrated Tour. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019. Web. (pg. 212-
Vanderven, Evan, Michael E Burns, and Philip J Currie. “Histologic Growth Dynamic Study of Edmontosaurus Regalis (Dinosauria, Hadrosauridae) from a Bonebed Assemblage of the Upper Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.” Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 51.11 (2014): 1023–1033. Web.
Xing, Hai, Jordan C Mallon, and Margaret L Currie. “Supplementary Cranial Description of the Types of Edmontosaurus Regalis (Ornithischia: Hadrosauridae), with Comments on the Phylogenetics and Biogeography of Hadrosaurinae.” PloS one 12.4 (2017): e0175253–e0175253. Web.