Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Tyrannasaurus from the top of the world

A rendition of the newly discovered Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a distant cousin of T-rex whose fossils were recently discovered in northern Alaska. Illustration courtesy Perot Museum.

A rendition of the newly discovered Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a distant cousin of T-rex whose fossils were recently discovered in northern Alaska. Illustration courtesy Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Earlier this month, scientists announced the discovery of 70-million-year-old fossils of a “pint-sized dinosaur” in northern Alaska. According to news reports, this Arctic cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex represents a previously unknown genus and species of dinosaur. Scientists are calling it Nanuqsaurus hoglundi.

Paleontologists Anthony Fiorillo and Ronald Tykoski, from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, reported the discovery in a study published in the journal PLOS One. The study, titled “A Diminutive New Tyrannosaur from the Top of the World,” says that researchers uncovered the dinosaur’s remains in 2006 in the Prince Creek Formation on Alaska’s North Slope. At the same quarry, Fiorillo and Tykoski have previously uncovered other important finds, such as remnants of the horned dinosaur species Pachyrhinosaurs perotorum, whose discovery was announced in 2011.

“I find it absolutely thrilling that there is another new dinosaur found in the polar region,” Fiorillo said in a statement from the Perot Museum. “It tells us that the ecosystem of ancient Arctic was a very different place, and it challenges everything we know about dinosaurs.”

Want to know more? Click here to read the full news report at Nature.  —Rachel Walker

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