"Parasaur" (Greek para = "by" + Greek sauros = "lizard" + Greek lophos = "crest")
Size: 9 meters (30 feet)
Period: Late Cretaceous (76 million to 65 million years ago)
Place: Alberta, Utah, New Mexico
Able to walk on two feet as easily as four, the duckbilled (lambeosaurine) Parasaur is distinguished by its skull crest, an elongated, curved structure longer than the entire skull. This crest contains two hollow tubes, originally believed to be a respiratory device used in similar fashion to a snorkel. However, the true purpose of the tubes turns out to be for the creation of sound. The Parasaur is able to use these tubes to communicate with its fellow herd members through the emission of low-frequency vocal resonances.
Environment: The Parasaur generally abides - per original estimates - in the forest region. It has, however, shown a remarkable adaptability and has migrated at times to the plains, semi-arid, and most recently, the swamp regions of the Park.
Feeding: Plant-eater. Content to feast on the ferns and foliage of the forest, although has demonstrated a new predilection for some of the water-based mosses in the swamp area.
Habits: The Parasaurs tend to group in herds, falling into a rigid social hierarchy. Males seem to achieve dominance in relation to the coloration of their skull crests with the more spectacularly-plumed Parasaurs adopting the leadership roles. Female social strata appears to be based on resonance of voice - the females capable of creating sounds at lower frequencies have repeatedly attracted the attention of the more brightly-colored males.
Ops Notes: Some concern over the Parasaurs' amazing adaptability. The skull crest is retractable, allowing for rapid movement through dense foliage. Several red flags have been raised over their highly-evolved ability to communicate with one another: while it's a bit premature to fear a Parasaur conspiracy, the beasts have demonstrated some rudimentary higher-level linguistic skills rivaling those of some monkeys.