Dinosaur Toy Found After 70 Million Years


Image courtesy of Luis Rey. [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Paleontologists working in Alaska have uncovered the skeleton of a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex, one of the earliest examples of a toy used to train and comfort young members of a species.

The scientists, Anthony Fiorillo and Ronald Tykoski from the Texas based Perot Museum of Nature and Science uncovered the 20 foot long specimen while digging for a horned dinosaur in the Prince Creek formation.  The duo described their exciting find in an article published in the PLOS One Journal titled A Diminutive New Tyrannosaur from the Top of the World.

Originally, scientists were confused by the relatively lilliputian size of the remains, considering that Arctic species such as the polar bear tend to be larger than their counterparts in other regions.  They speculated that lack of food during winter months may have led to the creatures diminutive size and possibly fuzzy coat.

However, Jugabein Roundtown, a forensic toy and bauble expert from Glasgow who has been researching non-human play for over thirty years, claims that the Paleontologists have mistakenly concluded that they have unearthed a new species.  According to Roundtown, the remains are:

A classic example of a stuffed-animal like toy used to teach juvenile dinosaurs child rearing and life coping skills

The expert claims that the toy could have also served other purposes for young dinosaurs such as models to practice fighting moves, training dummies for Dino-CPR, and props for the production of Cretaceous-era entertainment.

While the exact origins of the aptly named Nanuqsaurus remain murky, all could agree with the words of its finder Fiorillo who exclaimed:

I find it absolutely thrilling that there is another new dinosaur found in the polar region… It tells us that the ecosystem of ancient Arctic was a very different place, and it challenges everything we know about dinosaurs.

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