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Scientists discover 'Pinnochio Rex', cousin of the Tyrannosaurus

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 5:19 PM - Meet "Pinocchio Rex", a colourful cousin of the T. rex that sported a large snout.

The recent find, which was unearthed in China, is being called a "one in a million" due to the fact the skeleton was nearly complete and well preserved.

The new species is also referred to as Quianzhousaurus.  It had a long, thin nose with tiny horns and may have sported colourful feathers.

RELATED: Most complete dinosaur skeleton unearthed in B.C.

Measuring about 9 metres in length and weighing 1,800 pounds, Pinocchio was a bit smaller than its 13 metre long cousin the T. rex.

It's believed the two lived together about 66 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period, not long before the dinosaurs went extinct.

Scientists believe Quianzhousaurus (right) may have had bright feathers. Courtesy: Chuang Zhao

Scientists believe Quianzhousaurus (right) may have had bright feathers. Courtesy: Chuang Zhao

Scientists aren't sure why the Pinocchio rex had such a long snout and plan to run computer models to see what it preyed upon.

It's suspected the species was good at catching fish. That, combined with the fact that Pinocchio had a weaker jaw than its cousin, suggests the dinosaurs had different diets and may have lived together peacefully.

RELATED: New dinosaur may have been the true "rex"

The complete study can be found in the May 7 edition of Nature Communications.

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