SOUTHERN CHINA — A new species of dinosaur has been unearthed in southern China — a long-snouted tyrannosaur.
A relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex, the Quianzhousaurus sinensis lived in Asia more than 66 million years ago, according to a news release from the University of Edinburgh. The new species has been nicknamed the "Pinocchio rex" by scientists because of its elongated skull and long narrow teeth.
"This is a different breed of tyrannosaur," said University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences Steve Brusatte in the news release. "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."
Only two fossilized tyrannosaurs with elongated heads had been found until this most recent discovery, the news release said. Both of the prior discoveries appeared to be juveniles, and it's unclear whether they were a new class of dinosaur or if they were at an early growth stage and might have gone on to develop deeper, more robust skulls like the Tyrannosaurus rex.
The new specimen "Pinocchio rex" was discovered by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the University of Edinburgh. It was nearing adulthood and was found mostly intact and remarkably well-preserved, thereby confirming the existence of a tyrannosaur species with long snouts, the news release said.