The late Cretaceous hadrosaurids were the most specialized and diverse clade of ornithopod dinosaurs. Parsimony and Bayesian methods were implemented to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of all hadrosaurid species. Traditional and geometric morphometrics were applied to discover patterns of variation containing phylogenetic information. In total, 286 phylogenetically informative characters (196 cranial and 90 postcranial) were defined and documented: the most extensive character data set ever constructed for hadrosaurid dinosaurs. Of these, 136 characters were used for the first time in phylogenetic analysis of these ornithopods, and 93 were modified from those of other authors. Parsimony and the Bayesian analysis (using the Mk model without the gamma parameter) confirmed the split of hadrosaurids into Saurolophinae and Lambeosaurinae. Saurolophines included a major clade composed of the Prosaurolophus–Saurolophus and the Kritosaurus–Gryposaurus–Secernosaurus subclades. Edmontosaurus and Shantungosaurus were recovered outside the major clade of saurolophines. The Brachylophosaurus clade was recovered as the most basal clade of saurolophines in the parsimony analysis, whereas following the Bayesian analysis it was recovered as the sister clade to the Kritosaurus–Gryposaurus–Secernosaurus clade. These two analyses resulted in a Lambeosaurinae composed of a succession of Eurasian sister taxa to two major clades: the Parasaurolophus clade and the Hypacrosaurs altispinus–Corythosaurus clade. In contrast, the Bayesian analysis using the Mk model with the gamma parameter included, resulted in an unbalanced hadrosauroid tree, with a paraphyletic Saurolophinae, and with the Prosaurolophus clade, Edmontosaurus, and Shantungosaurus as successively closer sister taxa to Lambeosaurinae. Based on the strict reduced consensus tree derived from the parsimony analysis, Hadrosauridae was redefined as the clade stemming from the most recent common ancestor of Hadrosaurus foulkii and Parasaurolophus walkeri.
© 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 159, 435–502.