Remains of 'Pinocchio rex' dinosaur unearthed

The bones were discovered by builders working on a construction site near the city of Ganzhou in southern China

The remains of a new type of Tyrannosaur with a very long nose have been unearthed leading the animal to be nicknamed "Pinocchio rex".

The bones were discovered by builders working on a construction site near the city of Ganzhou in southern China.

Researchers believe the animal, which stalked the Earth more than 66 million years ago, was a fearsome carnivore that lived in Asia during the late Cretaceous period.

The bones were discovered by workmen on a construction site who took them to a local museum.

Experts from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the University of Edinburgh then became involved in examining the remains.

With an elongated skull and long, narrow teeth, the newly-found predator would have looked very different from a T.rex, which had thick teeth and more powerful jaws.

Palaeontologists had been uncertain about the existence of long-snouted tyrannosaurs until the remains of the dinosaur - whose proper name is Qianzhousaurus sinensis - were unearthed in southern China.

Before that point, just two fossilised tyrannosaurs with elongated heads had been found, but since they were juveniles it was unclear whether they were from a new class of dinosaur or if they were simply at an early growth stage.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh said the new specimen is of an animal nearing adulthood. It was found largely intact and "remarkably well preserved".

It is thought that Qianzhousaurus sinensis lived alongside other tyrannosaurs but would not have been in direct competition with them, since they probably hunted different prey.

One of the authors of the study, Dr Steve Brusatte of Edinburgh University's School of GeoSciences, said: "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."

He added: "It is an awesome specimen, almost a complete skeleton. It is a really one in a million find that those workers made."

Following the discovery, researchers 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.

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

Details of the study, funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Science Foundation, are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...