Posture and Locomotion
This Corythosaurus was mounted in 1920 at the Royal Ontario
Museum. At that time paleontologists beleived that hadrosaurs walked in an upright position.
A convincing case was made by Peter Galton (1970) that hadrosaurs held their
vertebral column horizontally and their tail stiff and fairly straight.
- Close examination of the skeleton reveals that the head of the femur articulates with the pelvis at
the point where two of the bones, the pubis and ilium, join together, which is the point of
weakness. This suggests that the body could have been held in an upright position.
- They were functionally bipedal because the hindlegs are considerably larger than the
forelegs where the hind legs probably carried most of the weight.
- The tail served to counterbalance the weight of the front part of the body
about the pivot (formed between the head of the femur and the socket).
- Although they walked on all fours, it is believed that they probably lifted
their forelimbs off the ground when they ran.
- While running, hadrosaurs kept the vertebral column horizontal.