animated picture of dinosaur

animated picture of dinosaur

In the high Arctic, dinosaurs did not have the only summer; they may have lived there all year round. This finding comes from new young dinosaur fossils. 

Cold-Blooded Dinosaurs

The Colville River in northern Alaska is full of hundreds of bones and teeth from dino hatchlings. Their remainder fell on exposed mountains from rock. The remnants of these fossils belong to seven dinosaur families. There were among them tyrannosaurs and duck-billed hadrosaurs. Also renowned for its horns and frills were ceratopsids (Sehr-uh-TOP-side). 

Patrick Druckenmiller says: “These are [non-bird] the most northerly dinosaurs we know of. This paléontologist works at the Museum of Northern Alaska University in Fairbanks. And this is why the new fossils he finds so special: They demonstrate that certain dinos have not just spent part of the year at arctic locations. He adds that these creatures “really nest, lay and incubate eggs.” Here is evidence. He stated that it was “about near the north poles.” 

One study in 2017 revealed that eggs of several of these species must be incubated for a maximum period of six months. That would not take much time before winter to move south to any dinos breeding in the Arctic. In a Current Biology article on June 24, Druckenmiller and his colleagues find that. Even though the parents could have done south, the infants would have difficulty surviving on such a walk. During the dinosaurs, the Arctic was somewhat warmer than now. The yearly temperature there would have been around 6 Celsius (42,8 Fahrenheit) each year some 80-60 million years ago. This is no different from the capital of Canada, Ottawa, today. Wintering dinosaurs, Druckenmiller notes, would nevertheless have been able to withstand months of dark, cold and snowy conditions. 

Birds of a Feather…

It might have helped them battle against the cold isolation of their feathers. There was also some warm-bloodedness in reptiles. And, speculates Druckenmiller, plant eaters can have hibernated or consumed red plants when fresh food is difficult to obtain in the dark. 

He acknowledges that he found more questions than answers to those tiny dinosaurs. “It opened up a tremendous can of worms.” 

Dinosaur: This is an appalling term. The reptiles came up around 243 million years ago. All sprang from reptiles called archosaurs. They were egg-laying. Eventually, their descendants were divided into two lineages. Around 66 million years ago, several enormous dinosaurs were killed. But a few Saurishians were still alive. They are now the birds that we see today (and now the so-called “bird-hipped” pelvis has developed). 

Egg: A reproductive cell with half of the genetic information needed to make an organic whole. Ovaries generate eggs in many other animals and us. When a sperm fuses an egg, a new cell is created, known as a zygote. It is the beginning of a new organization’s development.” 

Fossil: Any evidence of ancient life or remains retained. Many types of fossils exist: Dinosaurs are known as “body fossils,” both the bones and other body components. So-called trace fossils, things like footprints. Even dinosaur poop specimens are fossil specimens. Fossilization is considered the process of creating fossils.