Duck-billed Dinosaur Left Leg Bone
Stand next to this leg and see how much taller it is than you! Then imagine how big the rest of the animal would be...
This is not a cast or model--this is an actual 9-foot tall leg from the late Cretaceous dinosaur, Edmontosaurus annectens, or as some like to call it, the Duck-billed dinosaur. These bones were personally collected from a site in South Dakota over several years. The leg is called a composite because skeletons from this bone-bed are disarticulated, meaning the bones from one animal are usually not found together so remains from several different animals are needed to reconstruct one section of the skeleton.
Edmontosaurus annectens was a flat-headed, duck-billed dinosaur that lived in herds in North America during the Cretaceous. It is one of the last dinosaurs to exist disappearing 65 million years ago during the mass extinction that brought an end to the Age of Dinosaurs. This large herbivore stood at almost 40 feet tall and weighed around seven tons. It was one of the largest and most common dinosaurs of the North American dinosaurs during the late Cretaceous, with speeds that rivaled a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Edmontosaurus skulls are known for their long, wide noses that resemble a duck bill, which served a beneficial purpose as the beak would crop plants with a battery of teeth prepared for grinding. Similar to other hadrosaurs, the Edmontosaur preferred to move around bipedally (on two feet) on their hoof-like nails, but evidence shows they also walked on all four legs. Despite their quick speeds and massive size, the Edmontosaurus were often hunted by T-rex as many bones have been found with teeth marks and healed wounds.
Digging is very restricted in the United States with local and national laws always changing and being updated. Our site is on a privately owned ranch and we have a written lease that allows us exclusive rights at this location. I have been collecting at this site since 1995, finding a myriad of Cretaceous fossils--especially from Edmontosaurus annectens. We not only find adult bones at this location, but bones from juveniles and sub-adults, providing strong evidence that these massive animals traveled in family herds.
Check out our Dinosaur Collecting stories here to see what other fossils we have found, including Edmontosaur and T-rex teeth!
Left leg - Composite
Hell Creek Formation
Harding County, South Dakota
Collected by Glen LaPlaca