(Pictures by Matti Aumala)
    Eurolophids are a small group of strange ornithischians that dwell mostly in northern Europe.  The evolutionary history of the Eurolophs is unclear, but they most likely evolved from small, Hypsolophodon-like herbivores during the very early Eocene, Paleocene, or even the late Maastrician.  No decent euroloph fossils have been found before the Oligocene, when the clade was already well-established and had evolved into several forms.

    The largest and eurolophid clade was Rhinolophinae.  These iguanodont-like Eurolophs had long curved claws in their forefeet and seem to have spent most of their time on their hind legs.  During the Oligocene, rhinolophine eurolophs dominated all the large herbivore niches in Eurasia, but with the onset of the Miocene came the ungulapeds from the south, and the native plant-eaters were slowly out-competed.  By the Pliocene, only a few, specialized species, such as Rhinolophus remained, and they, too, soon went extinct.

    Struthiopods appeared in late Oligocene, but only started to resemble modern forms by middle Miocene. These small, fleet-footed herbivores were the only eurolophids to survive the Miocene hadrosaur invasion.  Even they aren't as numerous as they once were, with only five species left in the whole Eurasian continent.

    Struthipods are bipedal, with long legs and necks, but rather short tails, giving these dinosaurs are low center of gravity and an almost bird-like appearance.  The middle toes of the struthiopods' hind legs are greatly enlarged, and when the animals run, only these middle toes touch the ground.

(Text by Daniel Bensen and Matti Aumala)
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