May. 14th, 2014

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Troodon formosus was one of the first North American dinosaurs discovered. They lived in the late Cretaceous, and ranged throughout most of western North America, all the way up to the north slope of Alaska. Although Cretaceous Alaska was warmer than it is today, and covered in temperate forest similar to the current ecosystem around Juneau, deep snow likely still occurred in the harsher winter months. Alaska was farther north then as well, resulting in four months of nearly complete darkness in the winters, with only a glimpse of sunlight breaking over the horizon around noon.

Troodon, however, was well-adapted for these tough conditions, with its large eyes, excellent hearing, and likely a thick feather coat. In this image, a pair steps out from the edge of the forest into the noon sunlight, looking for any sign of prey in the open area.

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Lauren Helton

September 2014

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