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New dinosaur discovered, nicknamed ‘Pinocchio rex’

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Posted at 1:49 PM, May 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-08 15:50:40-04

Scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur, nicknamed the Pinocchio rex.

Researchers said the animal is a long-snouted tyrannosaur, which is in the same family as Tyrannosaurus rex. The new dinosaur, named the Qianzhousaurus sinensis, was unearthed in southern Chine. The Pinocchio rex, lived in Asia during the late Cretaceous period, more than 66 million years ago.

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the University of Edinburgh discovered the new specimen and believe the animal was nearing adulthood.

The image shows two Qianzhousaurus individuals hunting. The one in the foreground is chasing a small feathered dinosaur called Nankangia and the one in the background is eating a lizard. Fossils of these three species are known from the ca. 72-66 million-year-old site in Ganzhou, China, where Qianzhousaurus was found. Photo Credit: Chuang Zhao

The image shows two Qianzhousaurus individuals hunting. The one in the foreground is chasing a small feathered dinosaur called Nankangia and the one in the background is eating a lizard. Fossils of these three species are known from the ca. 72-66 million-year-old site in Ganzhou, China, where Qianzhousaurus was found. Photo Credit: Chuang Zhao

Previous, two fossilized tyrannosaurs with elongated heads had been found, but since they were young it wasn’t clear if they were a new class of dinosaur or in an early growth stage.

As a result of the find, researched have created a new branch of the tyrannosaur family for specimens with very long snouts, said a press release from the University of Edinburgh. They expect more dinosaurs to be added to the group as excavations in Asia continue to identify new species.

Read the full press release from the University of Edinburgh.