When I was a kid, I was fascinated with dinosaurs. In fact, my younger brother and I had a lot of plastic dinosaurs and used to play with them. Well, since the 1960s a huge number of new species have been discovered, and here's another new discovery recently from China!
Scientists Identify New Dinosaur Zhuchengtyrannus Magnus
Updated: Tuesday, 05 Apr 2011, 10:41 AM EDT(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - Scientists discovered a relative of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex in what may be the largest concentration of dinosaur bones found in the world.
Ironically, media reports state, construction workers made the find in China while building a museum for other fossils.
The dinosaur, as reported by University College Dublin , has been named Zhuchengtyrannus magnus. It likely measured about 36 feet long, stood about 13 feet tall and weighed about six tons or more than 13,000 pounds.
Scientists matched it up to T. rex using fossil skull and jaw bones. The university stated it is one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs that scientists ever identified.
The dinosaur's name means "Tyrant from Zhucheng," identifying the eastern Shandong Province city in which the find was made.
LiveScience said the dig has uncovered more than 7,600 fossils in the city, which has become known for its bones. Scientists discovered a large field of hadrosaurus fossils in the 1960s and more than 50 tons of fossils have been found there since then.
The university suggested the site likely contained so many fossils because it was a flood plain where dinosaur bodies may have washed up together during floods and fossilized.
Zhao Xijin, the paleontologist heading up the project, told the Xinhua news agency that most of the fossils dated back to the late Cretaceous of the Mesozoic period. The BBC said that period extended from 99 to 65 million years ago, when scientists believe dinosaurs became extinct.
The find, as reported by the BBC, consisted of skull and jaw bones. Scientists used them to match the fossils up to the Tyrannosaurines, a group of theropods that may have evolved into modern birds. The dinosaurs, which existed in North American and eastern Asia, are identified by their small arms, two-fingered hands and powerful jaws.
Colleagues working on the project include Xu Xing of the Beijing Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. Discovery News said Xing has named more than 30 other dinosaurs. Xinhua said a fossil park will be built near the site.