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1.9" Fossil Hadrosaur Caudal Vertebra - Judith River Formation
This is a nicely preserved, 1.9" long Hadrosaur (Brachylophosaurus canadensis?) distal caudal vertebra centrum from the Judith River Formation of Montana. The vertebra is fractured and warped as a result of geologic processes, however the only apparent repair is glue stabilization between some of the cracks. The edges of this vertebra are weathered.
Hadrosaursare frequently referred to as duck-billed dinosaurs and are members of the ornithischian family Hadrosauridae They were fairly common herbivores which roamed Asia, Europe and North America during the Upper Cretaceous Period. Many species of hardrosaurs had distinct crests on their head, some of which had air filed chambers that may have produced a distinct sound. These crests may have been used for both audio and visual display purposes.
The Judith River Formation is one of the most prolific sources of Late Cretaceous vertebrate fossils. At least sixteen Orders containing more than forty Genera are known from the formation. These include fish, amphibians, mammals, and insects in addition to the reptiles, avian and non-avian dinosaurs (birds). Among the more interesting specimens is Leonardo, a mummified and fossilized Brachylophosaurus. This is a Hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur with amazing preservation of the soft tissues of the body. The pattern in the skin of the feet is even preserved. In addition to Leonardo, the Judith River Formation contained the remains of the theropod Hesperornis, the only known freshwater Hespernorthid, a penguin like bird.