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
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...