I Know Dino Podcast: Nanuqsaurus

Episode 11 is all about Nanuqsaurus, a small tyrannosaur that lived within the historic Arctic.

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On this episode, we talk about:

  • The dinosaur of the day: Nanuqsaurus hoglundhi, a tiny cousin of T-rex that lived within the Arctic 70 million years in the past
  • Nanuqsaurus bought its title from the Inupiat phrase for polar bear, in addition to from Forrest Hoglund, the donor to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, the place the 2 males who found Nanuqsaurus work (Tony Fiorillo and Ron Tykoski)
  • Nanuqsaurus lived in Northern Alaska, then a part of the subcontinent Larimidia, which had climate like modern-day Seattle
  • However relying on the seasons, the Arctic may nonetheless have lengthy days or quick days with lengthy nights (winter had 24 midnights)
  • The Arctic the place Nanuqsaurus lived was a coastal plain, with tall conifer forests and flowering vegetation
  • Fiorillo and Tykoski really found Nanuqsaurus in 2006 (cranium and jaw fossil fragments) within the Kikak-Tegoseak quarry, on the North Slope near the Yukon border
  • However they initially ignored the invention due to a second discovery, of the horned dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus
  • However they discovered tooth marks in Pachyrhinosaurus
  • The excavation space was 13 x 13 ft, about 400 miles northwest of Fairbanks
  • The workforce was funded by the Nationwide Science Basis Workplace of Polar Packages
  • Close by Alberta is well-known for its dinosaur bone beds, however the Arctic is generally unchartered territory.
  • Nanuqsaurus exhibits how tyrannosaurines tailored to life within the Arctic
  • Nanuqsaurus is a cousin of T-rex and Tarbosaurus, however lived 1-2 million years earlier than T-rex
  • Apart from its small dimension, Nanuqsaurus seemed loads like T-rex, nevertheless it solely weighed 1,000 kilos
  • Nanusqaurus most likely was small so it may survive winters, when prey migrated or hibernated and have become scarce
  • Curiously, animals typically develop larger on the Poles (resembling polar bears, that are the biggest bears), as a result of larger animals lose warmth extra slowly
  • Nanuqsaurus was the dominant carnivore in its habitat, however not less than 4 different carnivores and 4 different herbivores lived there on the identical time
  • Nanuqsaurus was 20 ft lengthy, had a 2-foot lengthy cranium, was 6 ft excessive on the hip, and had killer-whale like enamel and twiggy arms
  • It additionally had a protracted nasal cavity and nice sense of odor, which might have been helpful at the hours of darkness. Due to its heightened sense of small, it was most likely an lively hunter, not a scavenger
  • Nanuqsaurus‘ higher jawbone (maxilla) had distinctive sockets discovered solely in adults of some superior tyrannosaurs
  • Nanuqsaurus most likely had lots of fuzz, like different tyrannosaurs (most likely warm-blooded)
  • Nanuqsaurus is a part of the subfamily Tyrannosaurinae
  • Tyrannosaurinae is one in all two subfamilies of Tyrannosauridae
  • The opposite subfamily is Abertosaurinae, which incorporates Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus
  • Albertosaurines are usually extra slender, with decrease skulls
  • Tyrannosaurinae contains Tyrannosaurus and Tarbosaurus
  • Some scientists have made extra subdivisions throughout the subfamilies, which there’s not sufficient data to make it official
  • Enjoyable reality: Dinosaurs had been really fairly sensible (the neatest dinosaur was smarter than mammals that lived on the identical time)

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