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Still Waters

How dinosaurs thrived in the snow

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Still Waters

Imagine a tyrannosaur striding through the snow, leaving three-toed footprints in the powder as flurries fall on the fuzz along the dinosaur’s back. The vision might seem fit for fantasy, vastly different than the steamy and plant-choked settings we typically think of dinosaurs inhabiting. Yet such scenes truly transpired millions of years ago, with an entire spiky, feathery and beaked menagerie of dinosaurs thriving in polar habitats marked by greater swings between the seasons and prolonged winter darkness.

The finds are coming fast and furious. A tiny jaw found in Alaska’s ancient rock record, and written about in July, indicates that dinosaurs nested in these places and stayed year-round. In 2018, paleontologists published a study describing how microscopic details of polar dinosaur bones show that some dinosaurs slowed their growth during harsh seasons to get by with less. The ongoing identification of new species, not found anywhere else, highlighted how some dinosaurs adapted to the cold. Each thread comes together to underscore how wonderfully flexible dinosaur species were, adapting to some of the harshest habitats of their time.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-dinosaurs-thrived-snow-180976435/

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seanjo

Uh, uh, life!...finds a way...

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lightly

Very interesting,  but , I have to wonder what the climate was actually like in that place at 'that' time ?   I don't think the area we call Alaska was necessarily always Cold , just because it is now ?  

   I'd Google on the matter, but I have google into getting our windshield replaced.   Amazing what a small stone thrown from an approaching truck tire can do !

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Wepwawet

As dinosaurs were warm blooded they had the inherent ability to live anywhere that mammals live today, setting aside marine mammals. The large dinosaurs did not need insulation as their sheer mass kept them warm, and a body covering would have overheated them. While far off being a giant, the almost 1.5 ton tyranosaur Yutyrannus was completely covered in a thick layer of long single filament feathers, showing that at least the winters in what would become northern China were cold. Further west into Siberia we have the neornithiscian Kulindadromeus mostly covered in three different types of single filament feather, thus showing for the first time that basal dinosaurs must have had a body covering, and were already warm blooded.

Being constantly called reptiles, even by the likes of David Attenborough, does not help in public perception as modern reptiles are cold blooded and do not have the greatest brains on the planet. Calling them reptiles is choosing to call them after one stage of their evolution, and not bothering with what came after. Calling them reptiles is as ridiculous as calling us synapsids or therapsids, technically correct as those were stages in our evolution, and all living creatures are the sum total of all that went before, so we are also fish, but not an acurate way of describing the modern mammal. Archosaur, you never hear that on a documentary, or ornithodira, yet dinosaurs have evolved through this line from earlier reptiles and back to diapsids and then our common ancestor with T.rex. Too difficult for TV I guess.

Edited by Wepwawet
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docyabut2

what I believe all the dinosaurs were killed when a big asteroid hit the planet. but the small animals did survived by going under ground.  

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