Dinosaurs in Chukotka lived in a warmer climate than now, scientists at St. Petersburg State University have discovered. The study of gadrosaurus remains from the Chukotka locality Kakanaut has shown that they do not have sharp cyclic changes in bone tissue, which are characteristic of polar dinosaurs. This indicates a more pleasant climate in this area during the Cretaceous period.
Scientists conducted morphological and histological study of several gadrosaur vertebrae, two femur bones, fragments of the scapula and humerus. The results showed that dinosaurs in Chukotka grew more evenly, just like dinosaurs from temperate latitudes.
The study was supported by the work of specialists from the V.L. Komarov Botanical Institute, who studied fossilized leaves from the Kakanaut location. They found that the average annual temperature during the Cretaceous period in Chukotka was around 12 degrees, the average temperature of the warmest month – 21 degrees, the average temperature of the coldest month – 5 degrees.
Acting head of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology of St. Petersburg State University Pavel Skuchas noted that the study of polar locations allows to better understand the diversity of dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period. This is important because there was a mass extinction before the asteroid impact, and studying those faunas helps better understand the history of our Earth.