Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a cousin of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Tarbosaurus has been discovered in the Prince Creek formation in Alaska by paleontologist from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
This new dinosaur, believed to have lived in the (now) tundra region some 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous period was relatively small compared to T-Rex, “with an adult skull length estimated at 25 inches, compared to 60 inches for T-Rex., and weighing only half a ton.
“The ‘pygmy tyrannosaur’ alone is really cool because it tells us something about what the environment was like in the ancient Arctic,” exclaimed Anthony Fiorillo from Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Texas, who conducted the analysis together with Ronald S. Tykoski and colleagues. But what makes this discovery even more exciting is that Nanuqsaurus hoglundi also tells us about the biological richness of the ancient polar world during a time when the Earth was very warm compared to today.”
The authors suggest that the smaller body size of N. hoglundi compared to most tyrannosaurids from lower latitudes may reflect an adaptation to variability in resources in the arctic seasons, as well as from its “ partial isolation in the north by land barriers, such as the east-west running Brooks Range.”