ADVERTISEMENT
See Inside Special Editions Volume 23, Issue 2s

Dinosaurs of the Arctic Thrived in Cold Darkness

Some 70 million years ago a group of hardy dinosaurs thrived in the harsh climate of what is now Alaska

More In This Article

A few more sweeps with the whisk broom, and the bone at my knees suddenly came into focus. I was looking at the snout of a Pachyrhinosaurus, a particularly odd horned dinosaur, a rare relative of Triceratops. It was not the first, or even the second, fossil of this creature found in Alaska, but I could already see parts of this skull that were not preserved on the other specimens. Continued excavation at the site—with picks and shovels supplementing our whisk brooms—yielded the bones and teeth of at least three other dinosaur species. It would take another trip for me to realize we were also crawling over 10 more skulls of Pachyrhinosaurus. Most individuals were close in age and had probably died together in a flood or other catastrophe. This grouping was the first evidence that horned dinosaurs north of the Arctic Circle behaved gregariously.

I had come to this remote spot on a bluff overlooking the Colville River in the summer of 2006 with colleagues from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Southern Methodist University to excavate the skull of a Pachyrhinosaurus I had found in 2002. We undertook a massive excavation from 2005 to 2007.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content


It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com.
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Dinosaurs

Get Total Access to our Digital Anthology

1,200 Articles

Order Now - Just $39! >

X

Email this Article

X