FSU, University of Alaska Fairbanks Team Find New Dinosaurs In Alaska

Sep 23, 2015

A research team from Florida State University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks say they’ve discovered a “Lost World” of dinosaurs that lived in Alaska.

A new species of duck-billed dinosaur is the latest to come out of Alaska—an area Florida State University scientist Gregory Erickson describes as the last frontier of dinosaur  paleontology.

“The signals suggest they were year-round denizens of the arctic. That poses a mystery there, how did they survive the conditions up there?” He said. 

The new, duck-billed herbivore is more closely related to today’s birds. But unlike modern avians, these dinosaurs may have had scales, not features, to keep them warm. Scientists believe the animals lived year-round in the region, endured freezing temperatures, months of darkness and snow.

The animal is believed to be one of the few extreme Northern species discovered. University of Alaska researcher Patrick Druckenmiller says the finding is changing the way scientists think about how the creatures survived.

“What these dinosaurs allow us to do is begin studying animals that are living at the physiological extremes of what we believe dinosaurs could have lived at.”

The Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis means "ancient grazer" in the native Alaskan language. But its not the only dinosaur to be discovered in the Prince Creek Formation.

Scientists have also found a cold-weather dwelling tyrannosaur, triceratops and Pachycephalosaurus in the area, leading FSU's Erikson to call the area the "Lost World".