Corythosaurus, meaning ‘helmet reptile’ because of the shape of its crest (Greek korythos meaning ‘helmet’ and sauros meaning ‘reptile’) was a genus of duck-billed dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Period, about 75 million years ago. It lived in what is now North America. The first specimen was discovered in 1912 by Barnum Brown in Red Deer River, Alberta, Canada. As well as an almost complete skeleton, the find was remarkable because much of the creature’s fossilized skin had also survived. In 1916, the Canadian (Canadian Pacific Lines) ship Mount Temple was carrying two specimens and other fossils from today’s Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada to Britain. It was sunk by the German surface raider SMS Moewe, sending its 75 million year old cargo to the bottom of the North Atlantic, where it rests to this day. There were originally up to seven species described including C. Casaurius, C. Bicristatus, C. Brevicristatus, C. Excavatus, C. Frontalis, and C. Intermedius. In 1975 Peter Dodson studied the differences between the skulls and crests of different species of Lambeosaurine dinosaurs. He found that the differences in size and shape may have actually been related to the gender and age of the animal. Now only one species is recognized, C. Casuarius.
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