Toothy Tyrannosaurus rex had a tiny cousin, suggests new research.
The dwarf dino, named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, lived 70 million years ago in Alaska, according to a new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The skull for the newly identified dinosaur measured 25 inches long, compared to 60 inches for T. rex. The new dino was a tyrannosaur though, conclude researchers Anthony Fiorillo and Ronald S. Tykoski from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and their colleagues.
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Tyrannosaurs marched around on two legs, loved meat and had a large skull relative to the size of their body, which was balanced by a hefty, long tail.
T. rex lived throughout what is now western North America. This latest discovery, however, is at the extreme north of the known range. The fossils were recovered from Prince Creek Formation in Northern Alaska.
"The ‘pygmy tyrannosaur' alone is really cool because it tells us something about what the environment was like in the ancient Arctic," Fiorillo said in a press release. "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."