Dinosaurs did not just summer time in the superior Arctic they may have lived there 12 months-round, new fossil proof indicates.
Hundreds of bones and enamel located along the Colville River in northern Alaska belonged to dinosaur hatchlings, researchers say. The continues to be, which fell from outcroppings of the Prince Creek Development, characterize 7 dinosaur families including tyrannosaurs, duck-billed hadrosaurs and horned and frilled ceratopsids.
“These are the northernmost [non-avian] dinosaurs that we know of,” suggests paleontologist Patrick Druckenmiller of the College of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks. And now it is obvious they are not just migrating into polar latitudes, he suggests. “They’re truly nesting and laying and incubating eggs … nearly at the North Pole.”
Some of these dinosaurs incubated their eggs for up to 6 months, prior evidence suggests (SN: 1/23/17). That would have left minimal time for any dinos nesting in the Arctic to migrate south prior to winter set in, Druckenmiller and colleagues report on the internet June 24 in Present-day Biology. And any offspring would have struggled to make the extensive journey.
The Arctic was a bit warmer during the dinos’ life span than it is today. Among close to 80 million and 60 million years ago, the area had an normal once-a-year temperature of about 6˚ Celsius — similar to that of modern-working day Ottawa — fossilized plants from the Prince Creek Development point out. However, overwintering dinosaurs would have endured months of darkness, cold temperatures and even snowfall, Druckenmiller suggests.
They might have fought the cold with insulating feathers or some diploma of heat-bloodedness (SN: 4/4/12) SN: 6/13/14), and the herbivores may well have hibernated or eaten rotten vegetation when fresh new foodstuff diminished in the dim months, Druckenmiller speculates. Finding these infant dino fossils unearthed more inquiries than solutions, he admits. “We’ve opened a total can of worms.”