Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zhuchengtyrannus, new Chinese tyrannosaurine

From the Dinosaur Mailing List:

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

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.

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