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Nanuqsaurus, new Arctic Alaskan tyrannosaur
From: Ben Creisler
New in PLoS ONE:
Anthony R. Fiorillo & Ronald S. Tykoski (2014)
A Diminutive New Tyrannosaur from the Top of the World.
PLoS ONE 9(3): e91287.
Tyrannosaurid theropods were dominant terrestrial predators in Asia
and western North America during the last of the Cretaceous. The known
diversity of the group has dramatically increased in recent years with
new finds, but overall understanding of tyrannosaurid ecology and
evolution is based almost entirely on fossils from latitudes at or
below southern Canada and central Asia. Remains of a new, relatively
small tyrannosaurine were recovered from the earliest Late
Maastrichtian (70-69Ma) of the Prince Creek Formation on Alaska's
North Slope. Cladistic analyses show the material represents a new
tyrannosaurine species closely related to the highly derived
Tarbosaurus+Tyrannosaurus clade. The new taxon inhabited a seasonally
extreme high-latitude continental environment on the northernmost edge
of Cretaceous North America. The discovery of the new form provides
new insights into tyrannosaurid adaptability, and evolution in an
ancient greenhouse Arctic.