By: Staff

Updated on: 28/03/2022

The Corythosaurus was a genus of dinosaurs that walked the earth during the Upper Cretaceous Period in the regions of the present day North America. These were duck-billed reptiles that had a characteristic helmet-like structure on their heads and were probably swamp dwellers and plant-eaters.

Scientific Classification


Quick Facts

Geological Period:Upper Cretaceous Period (about 77–75.7 mya)
Size:Estimated height was 9 meters (30 ft) at the shoulders
Weight:weighing around 5 tons
Average Lifespan:65 years
Location/Distribution & Habitat:Western parts of North America, including Montana, USA, as well as in Alberta, Canada
Climate/Environment:Moderate to slightly cold
Birth Type (Reproduction):Oviparous
Locomotion:Both bipedal and quadrupedal
Type species:†Corythosaurus casuarius

History and Discovery


Since the time the first ever fossils of the dinosaur was discovered in 1911, the relics of many different species of these massive creatures have been unearthed all over the continent of North America.

Not merely in different places in Canada, but also in the United States, especially in the state of Montana. Fossils that were found included ten skulls, several assorted bones, and fossilized skin that has a pebbly texture.

Corythosaurus Dinosaur

The fossil of the Ceratosaurus was excavated in Colorado’s Dry Mesa Quarry as well as in Utah’s Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, along with the remains of several other giant lizard species including the Allosaurus.

In 1884, the Ceratosaurus was first described by the American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, and then re-described in 1920, a few years after its first discovery. A few more species of the Ceratosaurus were also discovered and described in 2000.

Physical Description

Corythosaurus Size
Corythosaurus Skeleton

Corythosaurus was about 33 feet long, with a height of around 7 feet at the hips, weighing approximately 5 tons. The beaks of these creatures were toothless, while the cheeks had hundreds of teeth used for chewing up food.

Like other hadrosaurids, the dinosaurs belonging to this genus could move on two legs, as well as on all fours, as it could be guessed from the footprints. It had a long tail that was stiffened by ossified tendons. This is an adaptation to help it resist itself from drooping.

Corythosaurus Fossil
Corythosaurus Skull

Their hands had four fingers with the innermost finger lacking while the other fingers were clubbed together, bearing hooves. This evolution suggests that the reptile was able to use its two hands as support during locomotion. Each of their feet bore only the three middle toes.

Another striking feature of these dinos was their distinctive crest on the head. The internal structures of the organ are pretty complicated. Scientists believe that the crest might be used as a signal for the warning, or else, for attracting a mate.


Corythosaurus Pictures

These creatures may have been gregarious, moving around from place to place in groups or larger herds so as to keep an eye on many individuals looking out for danger. When in danger, or locate an approaching predator/enemy, they would probably sound out warning calls to the other members of its group.


Paleontologists speculated that these animals were a herbivore. They would probably consume plant materials from gingkos, conifers, pines, pine needles, seeds, magnolia leaves, cycads, and twigs. In fact, most of its diet probably consisted of twigs.

Interesting Facts

Corythosaurus Images
  • The crested dinosaur gets its name after a special type of helmet worn by Greek soldiers about 2700 years ago in Corinth.
  • The nostrils of the dinosaur rose up through its crest.
  • In 1916, a British ship named ‘Mount Temple’ was bringing two fossils of these reptiles to Britain from the US but was ruined by a German U-boat. Eventually, the fossils drowned and rests to this day at the bottom of the ocean.

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