Tuesday, June 21, 2011

[Palaeontology • 2011] Zhuchengtyrannus magnus • A new, large tyrannosaurine theropod from the Upper Cretaceous of China

Zhuchengtyrannus magnus 
[Late Cretaceous, 70 Ma]

Tyrannosaurids are primarily gigantic, predatory theropod dinosaurs of the Cretaceous. Here we report a new member of the tyrannosaurid clade Tyrannosaurinae from the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Zhucheng, Shandong Province, China, based on a maxilla and associated dentary. The discovery of this animal, here named Zhuchengtyrannus magnus gen. et sp. nov., adds to the known diversity of tyrannosaurids in Asia. Z. magnus can be identified by a horizontal shelf on the lateral surface of the base of the ascending process, and a rounded notch in the anterior margin of the maxillary fenestra. Several additional features contribute to a unique combination of character states that serves to further distinguish Z. magnus from other taxa. Comparisons with other tyrannosaurids suggest that Zhuchengtyrannus was a very large theropod, comparable in size to both Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus.

► A new tyrannosaurine theropod, Zhuchengtyrannus magnus is named based on a maxilla and dentary. ► This is a large animal, equivalent in size to Tyrannosaurus and Tarbosaurus. ► This is from the Late Cretaceous of eastern China.

Keywords: Dinosaur; Saurischian; Tyrannosaurid; Skull; China; Cretaceous

David W. E. Hone, Kebai Wang, Corwin Sullivan, Xijin Zhao, Shuqing Chen, Dunjin Li, Shuan Ji, Qiang Ji and Xing Xu. 2011. A new, large tyrannosaurine theropod from the Upper Cretaceous of China. Cretaceous Research. 32 (4): 495–503. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2011.03.005

A New Giant Tyrant, Zhuchengtyrannus http://t.co/CMZyzJF via @SmithsonianMag
Zhuchengtyrannus magnus, T-Rex's gigantic cousin, discovered in China (Wired UK) http://t.co/vi9ijQR