Hadrosaurids were the most derived ornithopods and amongst the most diverse herbivore dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous of Europe, Asia, and the two Americas. Here, their biogeographical history is reconstructed using dispersal-vicariance analysis (DIVA). The results showed that Hadrosauridae originated in North America and soon after dispersed to Asia no later than the Late Santonian. The most recent common ancestor of Saurolophidae (= Saurolophinae + Lambeosaurinae) is inferred to have been widespread in North America and Asia. The split between saurolophines and lambeosaurines occurred in response to vicariance no later than the Late Santonian: the former clade originated in North America, whereas the latter did so in Asia. Saurolophine biogeographical history included a minimum of five dispersal events followed by vicariance. Four of these dispersals were inferred to have occurred from North America to Asia during the Campanian and Early Maastrichtian, whereas a fifth event represented a southward dispersal from North to South America no later than the Late Campanian. The historical biogeography of lambeosaurines was characterized by an early evolution in Asia, with a Campanian dispersal to the European archipelago followed by vicariance. Reconstruction of the ancestral areas for the deepest nodes uniting the more derived lambeosaurines clades (‘hypacrosaurs’, ‘corythosaurs’, and ‘parasaurolophs’) is ambiguous. The split between North American and Asian clades of ‘hypacrosaurs’ and ‘parasaurolophs’ occurred in response to vicariance during the Campanian. The evolutionary history of North American ‘hypacrosaurs’ and ‘parasaurolophs’ was characterized by duplication events. The latter also characterized the Late Campanian ‘corythosaurs’, which remained restricted to North America.
© 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 159, 503–525.