Paleontologists have made an exciting discovery near the city of Ganzhou, in southern China – the near complete fossil remains of a skull in a site that dates back to the Cretaceous period. The skull belongs to a dinosaur that has been scientifically designated Qianzhousaurus sinensis, a long-snouted species that belongs to the same species of Tyrannosaurus rex (Tyrannosauridae) that would have lived in Asia some 66 and 72 million years ago.
Nicknamed “Pinocchio rex” by researchers, this creature would have measured about 9 m from snout to tail, had an elongated skull and had long teeth compared with the deeper, more powerful jaws and thick teeth of a conventional Tyrannosaurus. From all of this, they have theorised that although sinensis lived alongside rex during the Cretaceous period, they would most likely have hunted different prey and not been in direct competition with one another.
“This is a different breed of tyrannosaur. It has the familiar toothy grin of Tyrannosaurus rex, but its snout was much longer and it had a row of horns on its nose. It might have looked a little comical, but it would have been as deadly as any other tyrannosaur, and maybe even a little faster and stealthier.”
Following the discovery, the palaeontologists have created a new branch of the tyrannosaur family for specimens with very long snouts, and they expect more dinosaurs to be added to the group as excavations in Asia continue to identify new species. The lead author of the paper, Professor Junchang Lü from the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, explained as follows:
“The new discovery is very important. Along with Alioramus from Mongolia, it shows that the long-snouted tyrannosaurids were widely distributed in Asia. Although we are only starting to learn about them, the long-snouted tyrannosaurs were apparently one of the main groups of predatory dinosaurs in Asia.”Source: Nature Communications – A new clade of Asian Late Cretaceous long-snouted tyrranosaurids Source: Sci-News – Qianzhousaurus sinensis: Long-Snouted Tyrannosaur Discovered in China
- Pinocchio rex: Paleontologists discover long-snouted T. rex in China (bnowire.com)
- New Tyrannosaur named ‘Pinocchio’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Pinocchio rex: new species of dinosaur discovered in China (theguardian.com)
- Pinocchio Rex Dinosaur Discovered (guardianlv.com)
- Long-nosed ‘Pinocchio rex’ dinosaur discovered by scientists (telegraph.co.uk)
- Edinburgh University discovers new dinosaur (scotsman.com)
- Long-snouted tyrannosaur unearthed (nature.com)
- New ‘Pinocchio rex’ dinosaur discovered (itv.com)
- New Tyrannosaur – Qianzhousaurus (geogeek1726.wordpress.com)
- Newly discovered ancient maps support Chinese territorial claims (chinadailymail.com)