Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long lost cousin of T. rex identified by scientists

Date:
April 1, 2011
Source:
University College Dublin
Summary:
Scientists have identified a new species of gigantic theropod dinosaur, a close relative of T. rex, from fossil skull and jaw bones discovered in China.

The newly named dinosaur species Zhuchengtyrannus magnus probably measured about 11 metres long, stood about 4 meters tall, and weighed close to 6 tons. Comparable in size and scale to the legendary T. rex, this new dinosaur is one of the largest theropod (carnivorous) dinosaurs ever identified by scientists.
Credit: Copyright Robert Nicholls

Scientists have identified a new species of gigantic theropod dinosaur, a close relative of T. rex, from fossil skull and jaw bones discovered in China.

According to findings published online on April 1, 2011 in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research, the newly named dinosaur species Zhuchengtyrannus magnus probably measured about 11 metres long, stood about 4 metres tall, and weighed close to 6 tonnes.

Comparable in size and scale to the legendary T. rex, this new dinosaur is one of the largest theropod (carnivorous) dinosaurs ever identified by scientists.

Alongside T. rex and the Asian Tarbosaurus, Zhuchengtyrannus magnus is one of a specialised group of gigantic theropods called tyrannosaurines. The tyrannosaurines existed in North America and eastern Asia during the Late Cretaceous Period, which lasted from about 99 to 65 million years ago.

"Zhuchengtyrannus can be distinguished from other tyrannosaurines by a combination of unique features in the skull not seen in any other theropod," explains Dr David Hone from the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin, Ireland, the lead author of the scientific paper.

"With only some skull and jaw bones to work with, it is difficult to precisely gauge the overall size of this animal. But the bones we have are just a few centimetres smaller than the equivalent ones in the largest T. rex specimen. So there is no doubt that Zhuchengtyrannus was a huge tyrannosaurine."

"We named the new genus Zhuchengtyrannus magnus -- which means the 'Tyrant from Zhucheng' -- because the bones were found in the city of Zhucheng, in eastern China's Shandong Province," says Dr Hone.

A key member of the international team of scientists involved in the study is Professor Xu Xing of the Beijing Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in China. Professor Xu has named more than 30 dinosaurs, making him the world leader in describing new dinosaur species.

The tyrannosaurines, the group including T. rex and its closest relatives, were huge carnivores characterised by small arms, two-fingered hands, and large powerful jaws that could have delivered a powerful bone-crushing bite. They were likely both predators and scavengers.

Together with nearby sites, the quarry in Shandong Province, eastern China where the remains of this huge carnivore were found contains one of the largest concentrations of dinosaur bones in the world. Most of the specimens recovered from the quarry belong to a gigantic species of hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur. Research suggests that the area contains so many dinosaur fossils because it was a large flood plain where many dinosaur bodies were washed together during floods and fossilised.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College Dublin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David W.E. Hone, Kebai Wang, Corwin Sullivan, Xijin Zhao, Shuqing Chen, Dunjin Li, Shuan Ji, Qiang Ji, Xing Xu. A new tyrannosaurine theropod, Zhuchengtyrannus magnus is named based on a maxilla and dentary. Cretaceous Research, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2011.03.005

Cite This Page:

University College Dublin. "Long lost cousin of T. rex identified by scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331191528.htm>.
University College Dublin. (2011, April 1). Long lost cousin of T. rex identified by scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331191528.htm
University College Dublin. "Long lost cousin of T. rex identified by scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331191528.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Unverified footage posted to YouTube purportedly shows ISIS militants destroying a shrine widely believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

AFP (July 25, 2014) Visitors will be able to look down from a glass walkway on the grave of King Richard III when a new centre opens in the English cathedral city of Leicester, where the infamous hunchback was found under a car park in 2012. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins