Gina Vaynshteyn
May 11, 2014 11:05 am

Back in the late 1800s, discovering dinosaurs was the “in thing” to do. Basically, there was this huge race to find as many dinosaur species as possible; it was known as “The Bone Wars,” or “Great Dinosaur Rush.” The rivalry was between Edward Drinker Cope (who belonged to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia) and Othniel Charles Marsh (who was affiliated with the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale). These opposing teams ruthlessly competed with each other, stealing, bribing, and reputation destroying along the way. It was like Mean Girls, but with dinosaurs and science.

Scientists and paleontologist were so caught up with collecting dinosaur bones like Pokémon cards, that they didn’t really stop to consider the possibility that all the species they amassed may not even have been real species. Does anyone remember learning about the brontosaurus in second grade? Well, the brontosaurus is a lie and you should ask for your money back.

The good thing about these mistakes is that they’ve forced us to look into the truth about dinosaurs, which unfortunately we can only unearth (no pun intended) to a limited extent. However, cool new things have been discovered, such as the possibility that the T-Rex was covered in feathers (I mean, how dorky is that?) and the most recent species: “Pinocchio rex.”

A new dinosaur with a really long snout has been discovered by paleontologists in China, and it looks like it’s the real deal.  Pinocchio rex’s scientific name is “Qianzhousaurus sinensis,” but I think I will personally stick to “Pinocchio rex” because it’s adorable and I don’t have to keep referring to Google in order to spell it. The formal name comes from the word “Qianzhou,” the ancient name of the city Ganzhou, where the fossils were discovered. They were accidentally found by workers at a construction site, who gave them to a local museum. When they found the collection of bones, it was notable that they nearly made up the entire tyrannosaur: “Almost the entire anatomy is there, which is really rare of a new tyrannosaur.”

What makes this dinosaur so neat is that its snout makes up about 70% of the length of its head, making it almost bird-like. Pinocchio rex measured up to 9 meters from its nose to tail (about 30 feet long if I’m doing my math correctly). This tyrannosaur was more petite, but possibly more agile. Although scientists speculate that Pinocchio rex may not have had the same chomp game as the T-Rex, that doesn’t mean this dino couldn’t take care of business. It most likely used its incredibly sharp, “blade-like” teeth to cut up prey. HuffPo states that “it may have been the top predator of its time,” meaning that these guys would have been way more fearsome in Jurassic Park than the passive aggressive T-Rex.

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