An illustration of the Late Pleistocene beast Rusingoryx atopocranion, which curiously has the same type of hollow-dome crest as the duck-billed dinosaur. Credit: Todd S. Marshall | http://www.marshalls-art.com
An illustration of the Late Pleistocene beast Rusingoryx atopocranion, which curiously has the same type of hollow-dome crest as the duck-billed dinosaur.
Credit: Todd S. Marshall | http://www.marshalls-art.com

Ancient wildebeest Dino-like Ancient Wildebeest

An animal that lived in Kenya roughly 75,000 years ago had many characteristics of the modern day wildebeest. There was, however, a striking similarity to a hadrosaur which was noticed by a team of researchers.

According to reports, the bone structure of the nasal passage in this ancient wildebeest is entirely hollow, which is a characteristic also held by the duck-billed hadrosaur. This does not mean that the wildebeest was related in any way to the hadrosaur, but rather indicates that this trait evolved independently among several species.

“The nasal dome is a completely new structure for mammals — it doesn’t look like anything you could see in an animal that’s alive today,” author of the study Haley O’Brien, a professor at Ohio University said in a statement. “The closest example would be hadrosaur dinosaurs with half-circle shaped crests that enclose the nasal passages themselves.”

AN ILLUSTRATION OF A HOLLOW-CRESTED DUCK-BILLED DINOSAUR (VELAFRONS COAHUILENSIS) THAT MAY HAVE MADE NOISES WITH ITS HOLLOW CREST. CREDIT: © TODD MARSHALL, 2007
Ancient wildebeest 1 AN ILLUSTRATION OF A HOLLOW-CRESTED DUCK-BILLED DINOSAUR (VELAFRONS COAHUILENSIS) THAT MAY HAVE MADE NOISES WITH ITS HOLLOW CREST.
CREDIT: © TODD MARSHALL, 2007

It is thought that this evolution occurred due to lifestyle similarities and what was necessary for the animal’s survival. The fact that the nasal passage was hollow would have allowed these animals to extend the audible range of their vocal calls and it is even theorized that they may have been able to produce sounds which could only be heard by members of their own species.

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