Former Kodiak Man Discovers Tiny Dinosaur

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Illustration of Albertonykus Borealis by Nick Longrich

Jay Barrett/KMXT

A young scientist in Alberta has discovered a new species of dinosaur, and his mother here in Kodiak couldn’t be prouder. Nick Longrich, a 1994 graduate of Kodiak High School who just got his doctorate in paleontology earlier this year, discovered the new meat-eater not in some dusty dry river basin, but in parts on a shelf of a museum. He’s the son of Tim and Mary Jane Longrich.

(Dinosaur 1 16 sec "So I was going through … had to have something new.")

Since he discovered it, Longrich got the privilege of naming it. He explains why he chose Alberto Nye-kuss borealis:

(Dinosaur 2 22 sec "Albertonicus means claw … of what the animal is.")

His mother is Mary Jane Longrich, who was understandably proud of her son, but also saw his discovery in the practical terms that only a mother can:

(Dinosaur 3 24 sec "Oh I’m just really … come back to Kodiak for work.")

She said that her son loved dinosaurs since he was a small boy:

(Dinosaur 4 20 sec "When he was just … I think he was just five.")

(Dinosaur 5 31 sec "I grew up really … off the island and far away.")

Longrich says the Alberto Nye-Kuss lived about 70-million years ago, and described it as being about the size of a chicken. He speculates it may have tasted like chicken, too:

(Dinosaur 5 46 sec "You know probably … all based on supposition.")

Longrich hinted at other discoveries he’s made that he can’t announce just yet because he hasn’t published the results, so there’s still an opportunity for him to name a dinosaur after his mom.

I’m Jay Barrett.

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