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back to article Behold, the TITCHY T-REX that prowled the warm Arctic of long ago

Paleontologists have discovered the head of a new pigmy breed of Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed the Arctic more than 70 million years ago. The remains of Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, or polar bear lizard, were dug up in 2006, but it is only now that a team from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Texas has managed to identify it …

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Just to ward off the obvious comments.

Yes, the arctic was subtropical during the cretaceous. No, it was not due to anthropogenic global warming. It was due to Antarctica having not yet drifted into position at the south pole, and to eurasia and north america being stuck together (the atlantic ocean didn't exist yet). This meant that the sea circulated freely at both the north and south pole, which evened-out global temperatures, so the polar areas did never get as cold as they are today. The climate at the most polar areas was of a type which no longer exist: you still had midnight sun / polar nights, but it was never really biting cold, and the area was forested, not tundra.

Yes, this does mean that as the atlantic ocean keeps getting wider and antarctica eventually moves away from the south pole, climate will get warmer again. No, none of this proves that anthropogenic climate change is a fraud committed by tens of thousands of scientists to embezzle the imaginary vast mountains of cash being thrown at science.

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Re: Just to ward off the obvious comments.

I thought the most obvious comment was Tiny T-Rex - Marc Bolan?

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Joke

Re: Just to ward off the obvious comments.

I thought the most obvious comment was this?

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And this is filed under Security?

The fossil is securely locked in rock?

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Facepalm

Re: And this is filed under Security?

Well would you break into premises guarded by a polar bear lizard?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: And this is filed under Security?

Finger trouble. Security and Science look so similar in our publishing system.

C.

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Re: And this is filed under Security?

> would you break into premises guarded by a polar bear lizard?

Not more than once anyway.

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Re: And this is filed under Security?

Depends if it suffers from the same, "if you fall over, you die" issue big brother had.

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Scientists & Marketing

So, Wife is a fancy scientist person who, among other things, works with several foundations that provide funding to many areas of research and she constantly complains that biomed research gets so much of the available funding. She's not alone in thinking there's too much money thrown into that. Promising research is regularly discarded because everybody wants to establish themselves as a 'leader' and years of mindnumbingly boring lab work isn't sexy.

I tell her that the biomed people have such a successful fundraising machine because sick/dying people generate both empathy and sympathy without the need for in-depth marketing strategies. Unless there's some really wonky wiring in your head that kind of stuff just reaches out and kicks you in the shins. Even if you aren't the giving type, sick people at least cause most people to think about things for a minute.

I'm not in anyway trying to say biomed research is taking advantage of sick people, but if somebody throws you an one like that you're really only taking advantage of the sick people if you don't use it to at least try to help.

Regardless, that's what paleontologists (or any non-biomed researchers) have to compete with. You've really got to be on top of your game if you're going to get up in front of a crowd and explain to them that funding your dinosaur research is not a death sentence for the sick child from the earlier presentation. It's obviously a false choice situation, but 'sick and alive' vs 'millions of years dead' is a pretty tough sell (they shouldn't make small grant applicants compete openly with each other if you ask me, but they do, but that's an entirely different issue).

Anyway, the only way you're going to walk out of there and not be seen as the Heir Apparent to The Henry Ford Eugenics Institute is if you move past the false choice mess really quick. Excitement (and tits) are always winners and guess what's exciting? Well, it ain't the 'Polar Bear Lizard'. I'm dead fucking sure of that. If it can't be 'King Lizard' (T-Rex hates sharing glory) make it the Napoleon Lizard (cause it's little, like people think Napoleon was) or the Emperor Lizard. Honestly, it makes absofuckingloutely no difference what you call it, just don't take everything we know about biology and taxonomy and mash them together. They did that with the Platypus and look what that got us. A poisonous Quack Beaver that doesn't even taste good.

Can you imagine Jurassic Park with the 'polar bear lizard' as the final boss? Or any of the worlds great natural history museums with the fucking polar bear lizard as the main attraction. Nobody is going to buy polar bear lizard merchandise and that shits crucially important for covering museum operating costs.

Look, just the other day, STEM focused classes were all over the news. Well, you know that 'S' at the beginning, that's for science. What kind of kid is going to grow up and give any shits about a field where specifics are important if you can just mash shit together as you please. If the kid is intelligent enough to know the meaning of polar, bear and lizard, that kid is also intelligent enough to realize his time of retribution has finally come and he's about to steal your lunch money about .76ms after you say polar bear lizard to him.

I guess the tradition is you get to name what you discover, OK, I'll accept that. But if you're going to call it a polar bear lizard you better make damn sure the 'artists rendering' communicates how badass a polar bear lizard would have to look. You know, posed all angry and covered in the blood of 17,000 natives with blood spurting from the paw that's in the process of regenerating. For a moment I was thinking a saddle too, but that could give the false impression that polar bear lizard gave enough fucks about anyone to let them ride on its back. So I'm going to say a helmet instead. It's a well known fact that you can't trust anyone who wears a helmet, so that should some ummmph to the overall image.

Alternatively, raffle off the naming rights and give the proceeds to some sick kid, maybe even let the kid name it. I bet it would be a better name than 'polar bear lizard'. Getting to name something is a pretty big honor you know. Sure, some dinosaur guy who has been on a peyote induced dream quest for half a decade will think it's funny. But in 3000 years this is exactly the sort of thing that historians will point to and say: 'On your timeline, you will see a sharp decline in education, Human lifespans, and other important indicators of a declining society. What we now call 'The Naming' and the resultant devastation that event caused is why we now execute those who fail to take the science of marketing and brand attribute building seriously'.

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Re: Scientists & Marketing

tl;dr

"polar bear lizard" is a dumb name. Got it, thanks.

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Re: Scientists & Marketing

It's Biomedical then Engineering(*) and then "others". Between Biomedical and Engineering the rest of the funding is little more than a rounding error.

* Engineering includes topics such as carbon nanotubes and graphene.

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Lets clone it.

I want one as a pet to deal with the neighbours cat that keeps shitting in my garden.

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Re: Lets clone it.

It's probably like keeping a horse. You need lots of time and space, and it will eat you out of house and home.

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DJO
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Re: Lets clone it.

Probably cost you an arm and a leg too.

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Re: Lets clone it. @MrDamage

Have you tried shitting in the neighbour's cat's garden?

(It won't stop the cat shitting in yours, but it might make you feel better)

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Re: Lets clone it. @MrDamage

Let me know if you plan on pursuing this approach. I can provide you with a recipe for some nice curried lentils and beans.

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Re: Lets clone it.

"You need lots of time and space, and it will eat you out of house and home."

And its leavings are probably far, far worse. And substantially larger than what a domestic cat would leave.

Or a great cat, for that matter.

So, you'd be trading little cat for big scat.

That doesn't sound like a really great deal.

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Re: Lets clone it. @MrDamage

Probably best to shit on the neighbour's cat instead.

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Re: Lets clone it.

It's probably like keeping a horse. You need lots of time and space, and it will eat you out of house and home.

FTFY

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Re: Lets clone it.

Yes, but how noisy is the critter? It must somehow live in a quiet cul-de-sac...

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Clearly this must have formed part of the Australian mainland during the cretaceous period. Probably killed off by the drop bears.

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+1 for the drop bears!!

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Headmaster

(Pendantry)

Very good, but last I checked, the Arctic isn't that close to Australia. (Although, granted, geography was a little different back then)

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Happy

Drop bears? That wasn't Australia

it was just a place that is very, very, ..... well, ... Australian, except that it had few snakes because they were almost all killed by the spiders (according to Dangerous Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Fish, Jellyfish, Insects, Spiders, Crustaceans, Grasses, Trees, Mosses and Lichens of Terror Incognita, Volume 29c, Part III).

Nice bar though in Didjabringabeeralong, and I like the way they jailed every prime minister the moment he got himself elected (saves time).

Still, no worries, she'll be right!

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Re: (Pendantry)

You're all missing the obvious source of the confusion. The person making the Dropbear statement is incredibly ancient, and things like pole shifts are easily forgotten details when you've got millions of years of things to think about.

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Cool

You don't have to explain what's cool about a 'Pygmy T-Rex'.

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Joke

Obvious innit?

See, that's what happens with research.

Find a tiny T. Rex. and someone gets 'rested for crapping in neighbour's garden and animal protection people get uppity 'bout a cat wearing human turd part of which is presently being tested by environment & health for its potential to harm due to combination of curry n beans also presently being researched by several nations warlike development bods as a potentially new biohazard type weapon.

Well, would you like it if that thing that went off covered you in foul smelling poo-like stuff that looked like recently or not so recently digested food?

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Although I am a microbiologist and work with things you can’t see, I have always been drawn to research on dinosaurs, especially the Tyrannosaurus rex, my favorite. I had an opportunity to witness the development of the Sue exhibit at the Field Museum. When they finally put Sue together in her current erect posture, she was a sight to behold. I still love to imagine the T. rex at the top of its game, even it it was a pygmy version.

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Bah!

I dunno how I am supposed to make any sense of that comparison chart when there is no Double-Decker Bus shown to give me an idea of absolute scale.

Usual shoddy job by El Reg.

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Re: Bah!

Absolutely agree.

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Anonymous Coward

The Arctic was warm

before the advent of humans - how could this possibly be :-)

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Re: The Arctic was warm

What do you mean, before the humans. Get a book.

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Mushroom

There's evidence that...

there were periods of global warming before humans too. And actually there was a time when parts of either South America and/or Antarctica poked into the present polar region, and although it got really dark part of the year, was so warm there was jungle then too. This intersected one of the warming periods. The dinos were generally smaller but had huge orbital size for their eye sockets - hence the theory - although geology also confirms much about the weather and plate tectonics position at any time-frame in earth history.

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Boffin

"B" in the infographic....

Is one big-ass scary lizard! I could probably take it at arm-wrestling though.

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Re: "B" in the infographic....

As long as Mr. T-Rex doesn't eat you first...

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