Duck-billed beast weathered chilly temps
James Havens, © 2014
Arctic dinosaurs have a new poster child.
Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis, a new species of duck-billed dinosaur, lived in what is now Alaska some 69 million years ago, scientists report September 22 in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
A geologist first discovered Ugrunaaluk fossils weathering out of a bluff in 1961. “It took 20 years before anyone actually realized the bones were from a dinosaur,” says Patrick Druckenmiller, a paleontologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Scientists began expeditions to the bluff in the 1980s and have since discovered thousands of bones buried in mud and siltstone permafrost. But the skeletons had busted apart, and the bones came mostly from youngsters — so figuring out which species