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科学美国人60秒:有些恐龙可能曾经在北极居住

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Some Dinosaurs Probably Nested in Arctic

有些恐龙可能曾经在北极居住

“Those vicious, predatory dinosaurs that tended to be fairly small—six- to nine-, 10-feet-long, snout to tail—they’re certainly in the Jurassic Park movies, the things that terrorize people.”

那些邪恶的掠食性恐龙往往都很小——从鼻子到尾巴约六到九、十英尺长——它们肯定在《侏罗纪公园》电影里出现过,是那种恐吓人们的东西。”

Anthony Fiorillo, a paleontologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex. For more than two decades now, Fiorillo has been digging up dinosaur fossils hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

安东尼·费奥里洛是德克萨斯州达拉斯的南卫理公会大学的古生物学家。二十多年来,费奥里洛一直在阿拉斯加北极圈以北数百英里的地方挖掘恐龙化石。

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“So one of the fundamental questions about dinosaurs in Alaska, in the ancient Arctic, is: Did they live there all year round? Did they migrate? How did they get there?”

“所以,在远古北极的阿拉斯加,关于恐龙的一个基本问题是:它们是否常年生活在那里?他们迁移吗?是怎么到那儿的?”

A recent discovery sheds light on those questions.

最近的一项发现阐明了这些问题。

“This fossil that’s the subject of this story is a baby dinosaur. It’s a predatory dinosaur, and it is a baby; it’s not just a juvenile. And given the size estimate of this thing, this probably was not far from where the nesting ground was, so this is the first physical proof that at least some dinosaurs nested in the Arctic.”

“这个故事的主题化石是一只小恐龙。它是一种掠食性恐龙,还是个婴儿;还未未成年人。根据这只恐龙的大小估计,它可能离筑巢地不远,所以这是首个证明至少有恐龙在北极筑巢的物理证据。”

Some of the first Arctic dinosaur remains ever found were discovered back in the 1960s in Svalbard, an archipelago north of mainland Norway. Since then researchers have theorized that dinosaurs must have migrated to avoid deeply cold winters. But Fiorillo says this new discovery disproves that idea.

最早发现的一些北极恐龙遗骸是上世纪60年代在挪威大陆北部的斯瓦尔巴特群岛发现的。从那时起,研究人员推测恐龙迁徙一定是为了躲避极冷的冬天。但是费奥里洛说这个新发现否定了这个想法。

“Well, you know, the classic stereotype for dinosaurs is that—had been that—they were living in tropical and subtropical environments, sometimes somewhat swampy. If you look at the various artworks over generations, that was quite often how these dinosaurs were reconstructed.”

“恐龙的典型形象是——曾经是——它们生活在热带和亚热带环境中,有时有些沼泽。如果看看几代人的各种艺术品,这些恐龙往往就是这样被重建的。

In reality, the climate north of Alaska’s Brooks Range 70 million years ago was similar to what we might see today in Portland, Ore., or Calgary, Alberta.

事实上,7000万年前阿拉斯加布鲁克斯山脉北部的气候与我们今天在俄勒冈州波特兰或阿尔伯塔省卡尔加里看到的气候很相似。

“Certainly a place where things were capable of being cool at times but certainly warmer than the Arctic today.”

“当然,那里有时能变冷,但肯定比今天的北极要温暖。”

The fossil find is a piece of jawbone, with a tooth, from a dromaeosaur. Fiorillo and colleagues unearthed it along the banks of the Colville River, not too far from the Arctic Ocean. The bone is the first nondental evidence of that species in the far north. The researchers report their discovery in the journal PLOS ONE.

发现的化石是一块带牙齿的下颚骨,这是一只驰龙。菲奥里洛和同事们在离北冰洋不远的科尔维尔河畔发现了它。这块骨头是该物种在遥远北方的第一个非牙齿的证据。研究人员在该研究结果发表在《公共科学图书馆·综合》杂志上。

Of course, questions remain:

当然,仍然有问题存在。

“How did they do what they did? Because even with the warmer temperatures, at the latitude that these dinosaurs were living, which is at least 70 degrees north, if not even farther north, how did they endure long periods of light and dark?”

“他们是如何做到这些的?”这些恐龙生活的纬度上,至少在北纬70度,如果不是更北的话,在这样高的温度下,它们是如何忍受长时间的光明和黑暗的?”

And that’s where the research will go next. For now, Fiorillo says the new discovery proves that these giant reptiles were well adapted to the highly seasonal environments of the Late Cretaceous that we still experience today in the Arctic.

这就是下一步研究的方向。目前,菲奥里洛说,新发现证明这些大型爬行动物很好地适应了白垩纪晚期高度季节性的环境,就像我们今天在北极所经历。

Some Dinosaurs Probably Nested in Arctic

“Those vicious, predatory dinosaurs that tended to be fairly small—six- to nine-, 10-feet-long, snout to tail—they’re certainly in the Jurassic Park movies, the things that terrorize people.”

Anthony Fiorillo, a paleontologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex. For more than two decades now, Fiorillo has been digging up dinosaur fossils hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

“So one of the fundamental questions about dinosaurs in Alaska, in the ancient Arctic, is: Did they live there all year round? Did they migrate? How did they get there?”

A recent discovery sheds light on those questions.

“This fossil that’s the subject of this story is a baby dinosaur. It’s a predatory dinosaur, and it is a baby; it’s not just a juvenile. And given the size estimate of this thing, this probably was not far from where the nesting ground was, so this is the first physical proof that at least some dinosaurs nested in the Arctic.”

Some of the first Arctic dinosaur remains ever found were discovered back in the 1960s in Svalbard, an archipelago north of mainland Norway. Since then researchers have theorized that dinosaurs must have migrated to avoid deeply cold winters. But Fiorillo says this new discovery disproves that idea.

“Well, you know, the classic stereotype for dinosaurs is that—had been that—they were living in tropical and subtropical environments, sometimes somewhat swampy. If you look at the various artworks over generations, that was quite often how these dinosaurs were reconstructed.”

In reality, the climate north of Alaska’s Brooks Range 70 million years ago was similar to what we might see today in Portland, Ore., or Calgary, Alberta.

“Certainly a place where things were capable of being cool at times but certainly warmer than the Arctic today.”

The fossil find is a piece of jawbone, with a tooth, from a dromaeosaur. Fiorillo and colleagues unearthed it along the banks of the Colville River, not too far from the Arctic Ocean. The bone is the first nondental evidence of that species in the far north. The researchers report their discovery in the journal PLOS ONE.

Of course, questions remain:

“How did they do what they did? Because even with the warmer temperatures, at the latitude that these dinosaurs were living, which is at least 70 degrees north, if not even farther north, how did they endure long periods of light and dark?”

And that’s where the research will go next. For now, Fiorillo says the new discovery proves that these giant reptiles were well adapted to the highly seasonal environments of the Late Cretaceous that we still experience today in the Arctic.


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