Meet 'Pinocchio Rex', The Just-Discovered Cousin Of T-Rex — And Yes, He Has A Super-Long Nose
What has a long nose and has gone extinct? Pinocchio Rex, of course! Not to be confused with Pinocchio, the wooden boy who could not tell a lie, or Tyrannosaurus rex, the terrifying monster at the top of the prehistoric food chain, Pinocchio Rex is instead a long-nosed cousin of the T-Rex. If we had been around 66 million years ago, we would have been able to watch Pinocchio Rex roam around China. But alas, we are just a tad late to the party.
Researchers believe that this dinosaur would have been considerably smaller than its cousin, but not less dangerous. Although T. rex's larger size would have allowed it to chomp through bone more easily, Mr. Pinocchio would have been just as difficult to fend off in a fight, weighing a little less than a ton and coming in at around 30 feet. Scientists are excited by the new discovery, and believe that it may prove the existence of yet another group of tyrannosaurs (apparently, there are already quite a few in existence, with the most famous being the T. rex).
The dinosaur's skeleton was discovered almost perfectly in tact, much to the delight and surprise of many paleontologists. This is likely because the creature was covered with dirt soon after it died, protecting it from the elements over the course of millions of years. The dinosaur likely had horns covering its long, thin snout, and hunted slightly smaller prey than the T. rex. Said Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University in Edinburgh, "Big, predatory dinosaurs are everyone's favorite." And this Pinocchio dinosaur seems to be climbing to the top of everyone's list pretty quickly.
While it would've been great to live in The Land Before Time with Littlefoot and company, being pursued by either T. rex or its cousin would have been less than ideal, and as Brusatte told National Geographic, "It would've been bad news if you ran into either one of them."