Introducing Qianzhousaurus sinensis — a new confirmed species of long-snouted tyrannosaur that menaced the Earth 66 million years ago. The recent discovery of its fossilized remains confirms a longstanding theory about tyrannosaurs.
This slender, 30-foot-long dinosaur lived during the late Cretaceous. It belonged to the same family as Tyrannosaurus rex, but its skull was markedly different than that of its famous cousin — one that made up about 70% of its total length. Qianzhousaurus also featured teeth that were long and narrow, whereas the T. rex had deep powerful jaws and thick teeth.
Previous discoveries of juvenile specimens suggested that some tyrannosaurs had elongated snouts. The finding of an adult now confirms this suspicion, finally allowing the paleontologists to declare an entirely new class, or clade, of dinosaurs. The new specimen was described by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the University of Edinburgh. The largely intact and remarkably well preserved fossilized remains of Pinocchio Rex were found at a construction site in southern China.
"This is a different breed of tyrannosaur," noted study co-author Steve Brusatte in a statement. "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."
It's thought that Qianzhousaurus lived alongside deep-snouted tyrannosaurs, but they wouldn't have been in direct competition with them because they were larger and likely hunted different prey.
Read the entire study at Nature: "A new clade of Asian Late Cretaceous long-snouted tyrannosaurids."