It seems like this week was a good week for Jurrasic World fans as scientists unearthed a new dinosaur species in Alaska. The northern dinosaur ate plants, according to specialists and it is a species variation that has never been met until now. Experts believe it was some kind of hadrosaur, a specimen that only stuck to herds. It is quite a fascinating discovery, given the fact that the dinosaur was an herbivore.
Pat Druckenmiller, a renowned earth sciences curator from the University of Alaska Museum, made these statements about the new dinosaur and he expressed his excitement about it.
The northern region of Alaska is widely believed to have been covered by a forest during the more warming years of our planet. Scientists claim that it was accustomed to living in darkness and it was probably a snow walker as well. It would mean that dinosaurs have come a long way if this specimen were able to cope with such extreme conditions.
The rocks in which the fossils were found were calculated to be 69 million years old, so it is quite an old reptilian ancestor.
What made it difficult to discover this specimen was its entangling with another dinosaur skeleton. It has faced this condition for 25 years. The other dinosaur it was merged with is an Edmontosaurus, a species that U.S. and Canadian researchers are very familiar with. The main reason why it was discovered was because of mouth and skull differences. It was very easy to distinguish it after these features were established.
So why were they not easy to spot in the first place? It was because these dinosaurs were juveniles. It was a characteristic that blurred scientists’ sight. The only way for them to properly distinguish the two was by plotting growth trajectories which were later compared with the juvenile bones from the Edmontosourus. Once patters were put one next to the other, things became crystal clear.
Finally, experts have given this “newborn” a name: Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis. A good translation for this term would be “ancient grazer”. It was not chosen randomly. Having been assisted by colleagues fluent in Inupiaq, scientists decided to name this beast after the people who now inhabit the land on which it first set foot.
This was the latest new dinosaur discovered in quite some time and it seems that even with all the technological advancement in the field, dinosaurs can still surprise us today.
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