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Hadrosaurian dinosaurs were abundant in the Late Cretaceous of North America, but their habitats remain poorly understood. Cretaceous amber is also relatively abundant, yet it is seldom found in direct stratigraphic association with dinosaur remains. Here we describe an unusually large amber specimen attached to a Prosaurolophus jaw, which reveals details of the contemporaneous paleoforest and entomofauna. Fourier-transform Infrared spectroscopy and stable isotope composition (H and C) suggest the amber formed from resins exuded by cupressaceous conifers occupying a coastal plain. An aphid within the amber belongs to Cretamyzidae, a Cretaceous family suggested to bark-feed on conifers. Distinct tooth row impressions on the amber match the hadrosaur's alveolar bone ridges, providing some insight into the taphonomic processes that brought these remains together.


Ryan C McKellar, Emma Jones, Michael S Engel, Ralf Tappert, Alexander P Wolfe, Karlis Muehlenbachs, Pierre Cockx, Eva B Koppelhus, Philip J Currie. A direct association between amber and dinosaur remains provides paleoecological insights. Scientific reports. 2019 Nov 29;9(1):17916

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PMID: 31784622

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