Dinosaurs thrived in the snow

Dinosaurs were reptiles, and so we often think of them as big lizards, soaking up the sun in tropical or at least temperate regions. But scientists are always learning more about dinosaurs, and find them more varied and adaptable than we ever suspected before. It turns out that dinosaurs lived in plenty of pretty cold areas.

The finds are coming fast and furious. A tiny jaw found in Alaska's ancient rock record, and written about in July, indicates that dinosaurs nested in these places and stayed year-round. In 2018, paleontologists published a study describing how microscopic details of polar dinosaur bones show that some dinosaurs slowed their growth during harsh seasons to get by with less. The ongoing identification of new species, not found anywhere else, highlighted how some dinosaurs adapted to the cold. Each thread comes together to underscore how wonderfully flexible dinosaur species were, adapting to some of the harshest habitats of their time.

Read about the study of dinosaur environments and how they coped with cold weather at Smithsonian.