Scientists Discover Fossil of Pinocchio Rex, a Long-Snouted Cousin of T-Rex

Posted on May 7, 2014

Qianzhousaurus sinensis

Scientists have unearthed the fossil of Pinocchio rex, a long-snouted cousin of T-rex, at a construction site in China. The dinosaur, Qianzhousaurus sinensis, lived 66 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period. BBC News reports that Pinocchio rex's snout was 35% longer than other dinosaurs of its size.

Qianzhousaurus sinensis fossilized skull

Pinocchio rex had an elongated skull and long, narrow teeth compared with T. rex's more powerful jaws and thick teeth. Researchers have created a new branch of the tyrannosaur family for specimens with long snouts. They expect more new dinosaurs to be added to the group in the future. The scientists say the dinosaur would have been stealthier than T. rex.

Dr Steve Brusatte, Chancellor's Fellow in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Edinburgh, says in the announcement, "This is a different breed of tyrannosaur: It has the familiar toothy grin of T. 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."

Professor Junchang Lu, of the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, says, "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."

A research paper on the newly discovered species was published in the journal journal Nature Communications.

Photos: Chuang Zhao/Junchang Lu

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