New Fossil of Ancient Polar Raptor Found

Long before human beings started to roam the Earth’s surface, our planet was dominated by about 700 species of dinosaurs. Although paleontologists have done a pretty good job over the years regarding the uncovering of most dilemmas about the world of the dinosaurs, there’s still a lot more to learn.

Scientists have recently discovered the fossilized jawbone of a dromaeosaurid (raptor) dinosaur that lived in the actual territory of Alaska.

Prince Creek Formation in northern Alaska

To be more precise, the researchers found a jawbone that is 1.4 cm long and contains the tip of the lower jaw and two teeth. The structure was found in exposures of the Prince Creek Formation in northern Alaska.

Co-author of the study and also a researcher at Southern Methodist University, Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, declared:

This study of a predatory dinosaur jaw from a baby provides the first physical proof that at least some dinosaurs not only lived in the far north, but they thrived there,

One might even say, our study shows that the ancient north was a great place to raise a family and now we have to figure out why.

Dromaeosauridae is a group of feathered predatory dinosaurs that were small to medium-sized, and they had been living during the Cretaceous period. This period was the last and longest from the Mesozoic Era. It lasted around 79 million years, from a minor extinction event of the Jurassic Period to the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event that happened 65.5 million years ago.

The researchers involved also claim that the new discovery represents the first confirmed non-dental fossil specimen belonging to a member of Dromaeosauridae in the Arctic. Considering tooth shape and other features, the scientists involved attributed the fossil to a saurornitholestine dromaeosaurid.

The new study was published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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