Introducing 'Pinocchio Rex'

T. Rex had a long-snouted relative

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 7, 2014 1:17 PM CDT
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(Newser) – T. Rex had a long-nosed cousin that has been christened, of course, with the nickname "Pinocchio Rex," reports the National Geographic. Pinocchio Rex probably lived alongside T. Rex some 66 million years ago, but it was smaller (29 feet long vs. 42 feet long) and faster. As for that nose, it was long and thin and studded with a row of small horns. Because of that and its weaker jaw, scientists think it likely hunted different prey than its famous relative and thus wasn't in direct competition. (Think lizards or smaller, feathered dinosaurs, reports the BBC.)

Prior to the discovery of the fossils of the formally named Qianzhousaurus sinensis at a construction site in China's Ganzhou province, scientists weren't sure that long-nosed tyrannosaurs existed. Two previous fossils suggested as much, but they were juveniles, and it wasn't clear whether they were still growing. The recent discovery is an adult, leading to the official new classification. "This is a different breed of tyrannosaur," one of the researchers tells the Guardian. "It might have looked a little comical, but it would have been as deadly as any other tyrannosaur."

An illustration of Pinocchio Rex, at right, by Chuang Zhao via YouTube.
An illustration of Pinocchio Rex, at right, by Chuang Zhao via YouTube.   (YouTube)
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