Qianzhousaurus: I Know Dino Podcast Episode 19




Qianzhousaurus: I Know Dino Podcast Episode 19

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This episode was originally published on Apr 9, 2015.

Qianzhousaurus sinensis, which is nicknamed “Pinocchio Rex” (because of its long snout)
Scientists found a nearly complete Qianzhousaurus skeleton at a construction site in Ganzhou, a city in China known for its fossils (first name comes from Qianzhou, the ancient name for Ganzhou)
The reason the skeleton was so complete was because right after it died, dirt buried it, which protected it from water and air eroding it, according to the study’s leader Junchang Lu, from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing
The skeleton found has a well-preserved skull, neck, backbone and tail
Qianzhousaurus demonstrates that there were long-snouted tyrannosaurs
Before, only two tyrannosaurs with long snouts have been discovered (both in Mongolia)
But these were juvenile skeletons, so scientists were unsure if it was a new type of dinosaur, or just juvenile tyrannosaurs that would later grow into their long snouts
Qianzhousaurus is twice the size of the other long-snouted skeletons, which means it’s an adult; also, its skull is totally fused and resembles an adult T-rex (there are hundreds of tyrannosaur skulls so scientists know how the bones join together and at what age)
Thomas R. Holtz Jr., a paleontologist at the University of Maryland (not affiliated with the study), said Qianzhousaurus was definitely an adult
Qianzhousaurus had a nose 35% longer than other dinosaurs of its size
It had a thin, long nose with rows of tiny horns on the nose (very different from the short, muscular nose on T-Rex)
Unclear what it used the nose for, but scientists plan on using computer models to see how Qianzhousaurus used its snout. Modern animals with long snouts, like crocodiles, use them to catch fish
Qianzhousaurus was 29 feet long, and weighed 1800 pounds
Part of the same family as T-rex, Tyrannosauridae
Quianzhousaurus and T-rex lived at the same time in the late Cretaceous
Qianzhousaurus had a weaker jaw than T-rex, so it had a weaker bit. It probably ate smaller, easier to catch prey than T-rex (which was a “heavy bruiser”)
Because Qianzhousaurus and T-rex ate different foods, they would have lived in harmony with each other
No long-snouted tyrannosaurs have been found in the Americas
Different tyrannosaurs may have lived and hunted alongside each other in Asia in the late Cretaceous
Because of Qianzhousaurus, scientists have named a new branch of the tyrannosaur family, a clade called Alioramini
This clade includes Qianzhousaurus and the two other long-snouted species (the ones found in Mongolia), called Alioramus

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