Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Scientists have found evidence of the existence of a cousin of the deadly Tyrannosaurus Rex (T Rex) dinosaur.
The newly discovered species nicknamed as Pinocchio rex, lived in Asia during the late Cretaceous period and stalked the Earth more than 66 million years ago. It did not resemble with other Tyrannosaurs.
The ancient predator had an elongated skull and long, narrow teeth compared with the deeper, more powerful jaws and thicker teeth than a conventional T rex.
Palaeontologists were uncertain of the existence of long-snouted tyrannosaurs until the remains of the dinosaur - named Qianzhousaurus sinensis - were unearthed in southern China.
Until now, only two fossilised tyrannosaurs with elongated heads have been found, both of which were juveniles. It was unclear whether these 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.
The new specimen, described by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the University of Edinburgh, is of an animal nearing adulthood. It was found largely intact and remarkably well preserved, thereby confirming the existence of the tyrannosaur species with long snouts.
Experts say Qianzhousaurus sinensis lived alongside deep-snouted tyrannosaurs but would not have been in direct competition with them, as they were larger and probably hunted different prey. Qianzhousaurus sinensis lived until around 66 million years ago when all of the dinosaurs became extinct, likely as the result of a deadly asteroid impact.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.
(With Agencies inputs)