Qianzhousaurus (Ganzhou lizard)
Qianzhousaurus (Ganzhou lizard)
Named By : J. Lu, L. Yi, and S. L. Brusatte, L., Yang, H. Li, & L. Chen - 2014
Diet : Carnivore
Size : Estimated 6.3 meters long
Type of Dinosaur : Large Theropod
Type Species : Q. sinensis (type)
Found in : China - Nanxiong Formation
When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 66.7 million years ago
Qianzhousaurus, which means “Qianzhou Lizard”, is a genus tyrannosaurid dinosaurs that lived in Asia during Late Cretaceous. The type species Qianzhousaurus Sinensis, which is a member of the tribe Alioramini, is the only species currently known. It is closely related to Alioramus (another alioramin).
The holotype specimen, GM F10004, was discovered in southern China’s Ganzhou in the Nanxiong Formation during construction of an industrial park. It was first described in 2014 by Junchang Lu and Laiping Yi, Stephen L. Brusatte and Ling Yang. The partial sub-adult specimen of the genus, GM F10004, is a skull that was almost complete. It has 9 cervical vertebrae and 3 dorsal verbrae. There are also 18 caudal and 18 dorsal vertebrae. In 2014, the journal Nature Communications published the first description of the genus by paleontologists Junchang Lu, Laiping Yi, Stephen L. Brusatte, Hua Li, Hua Chen, and Hua Li. The name Qianzhousaurus is used to refer to Qianzhou, the older name for Ganzhou, where the remains were discovered. Sinensis is the specific name derived from the Greek Sinai, sino, sinai, which is Chinese. Workmen discovered the fossil remains on a construction site close to Ganzhou and took them to a local museum.
Lu Junchang, a Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences lead author, stated that the “new discovery is very important.” It is the second discovery of long-snouted tyrannosaurids in Asia, along with Alioramus (Mongolia), The long-snouted Tyrannosaurus was one of Asia’s most important predatory dinosaur groups, even though we don’t know much about them. Although the existence of long-snouted tyrannosaurs had been suspected previously due to inconclusive fossil findings, which could have been explained as juveniles of short species, Stephen L. Brusatte, co-author at the University of Edinburgh, says that the discovery “tells us pretty clearly that these long-snouted tyrannosaurs are real.” They were an entirely different species, and lived right at the end the age of dinosaurs.
Qianzhousaurus, a medium-sized tyrannosaurid, was estimated to have measured 6.3m (21 feet) in length and weighed 757kg (1 669 lb). This taxon is distinguished from other tyrannosaurids by its narrowed premaxilla and pneumatic opening at the maxilla’s upper extension. It also lacks a vertical ridge-like structure along the ilium’s lateral surface.
Qianzhousaurus was a more traditional tyrannosaurid, with prominently set jaws and thick teeth. However, Qianzhousaurus had an especially long snout and (when restored) narrower teeth. Although the holotype specimen is larger and more mature that the holotypes from both Alioramus species, some of the sutures between the cervical vertebrae and the dorsal vertebrae have partially fused, it was likely an immature animal and a sub-adult. Qianzhousaurus was long-legged with a 70 cm (705 mm) femur length and a 76 cm (756 mm) tibia.