Nerd Fun: Get Your Cuddly Parasaurolophus Here

Awww, isn’t he cute?

ParasaurolophusIt never ceases to amaze me how toy manufacturers can take a 33-foot long dinosaur seem cuddly-cute just by making it look more neotenous. Of course, Parasaurolophus was a plant eater:

Parasaurolophus is a hadrosaur (duckbilled dinosaur), part of a diverse family of Cretaceous dinosaurs known for their range of bizarre head adornments. This genus is known for its large, elaborate cranial crest, which at its largest forms a long curved tube projecting upwards and back from the skull. A similar crest is found on Charonosaurus from China, which may have been its closest relative. The crest has been much discussed by scientists; the consensus is that major functions included visual recognition of both species and gender, acoustic resonance, and thermoregulation. It is one of the rarer duckbills, known from only a handful of good specimens.

That doesn’t seem to matter on the cuteness scale.