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TINY-SAURUS REX: Ancient skull suggests pygmy dinosaur once roamed the Earth

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/16/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Skull less than half the size of a 60-inch Tyrannosaurus Rex skull

It probably wasn't cute and no one would want one for a pet - but a newly discovered dinosaur skull, believed to be a pygmy Tyrannosaurus Rex has been discovered. The fossilized skull is believed to be around 70 million years old and was discovered in icy northern Alaska.

Tyrannosaurs have long captured the popular imagination since their discovery. The majority of information about them comes from fossils from low to mid-latitudes of North America and Asia.

Tyrannosaurs have long captured the popular imagination since their discovery. The majority of information about them comes from fossils from low to mid-latitudes of North America and Asia.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/16/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Tyrannosaurus rex, dinosaur, discovery


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Analysis has shown the skull to be from a Tyrannosaurus, but one that is much smaller than T-Rex, the largest carnivorous dinosaur ever to walk the Earth.

An illustration provided by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science shows the size comparison of the

An illustration provided by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science shows the size comparison of the T-Rex's smaller cousin.


Examining fragments of the skull roof, maxilla and jaw, scientists concluded that the species, Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, had an adult skull length of 25 inches, less than half the size of the 60-inch skull of a T Rex, believed to have been the largest of all carnivorous dinosaurs.

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Scientists concluded that the smaller relative of the Tyrannorsaurys Rex, pictured, the Nanuqsaurus

Scientists concluded that the smaller relative of the Tyrannorsaurys Rex, pictured, the Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, had an adult skull length of 25 inches.


The smaller body size may have reflected an adaption to scarcer resources in the Arctic seasons and the species' partial isolation in the north, the study's co-authors Anthony Fiorillo and Ronald Tykoski, from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Texas, say. 

Tyrannosaurs have long captured the popular imagination since their discovery. The majority of information about them comes from fossils from low to mid-latitudes of North America and Asia.

Earth Sciences Curator Tony Fiorillo of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science excavates a site cont

Earth Sciences Curator Tony Fiorillo of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science excavates a site containing the fossils of a newly discovered smaller cousin of the T-Rex named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi.


"The 'pygmy tyrannosaur' alone is really cool because it tells us something about what the environment was like in the ancient Arctic," Fiorillo says.

The Nanuqsaurus hoglundi

The Nanuqsaurus hoglundi's skull was less than half of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.


"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."

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