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ZHUCHENGTYRANNUS

a meat-eating tyrannosaurine theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China.
zhuchengtyrannus.png
Pronunciation: joo-cheng-tie-ran-us
Meaning: Zhucheng tyrant
Author/s: Hone et al. (2011)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Shandong Province, China
Chart Position: 620

Zhuchengtyrannus magnus

Zhuchengtyrannus, or "ZT" as it's affectionately known to the name-coining authors, was similar in size and stature to average-sized specimens of the North American tyrannosaurine Tyrannosaurus. But it sported a combination of unique features not seen in any of its closest relatives which, funnily enough, mostly involve things that aren't there.

Everything below its partial lower jaw (dentary) is missing, and most of its outstanding features are the size, shape and position of holes (fenestrae) in a partial upper jaw bone (maxilla) that represents the other 50% of its remains. It also lacks a joint strengthening flange where its toothy upper jaw bone meets the main skull and a palate bone that covers the roots of its rear teeth, which eliminates the possibility of its remains belonging to another Chinese tyrannosaurine; Tarbosaurus. But what it does have that all of its relatives lack is a sort of bony shelf on its upper jaw and an odd notch on one of said openings.

Many disjointed remnants have been discovered in the quarry of Zhuchengtyrannus, but it can't lay claim to them because proof of ownership is currently lacking. Amongst these remains another pair of jaw bones (ZCDM V0030 and ZCDM V0032) seem unique again and may belong to a second, as yet unnamed tyrannosaurid. Some 1970s-discovered "Tyrannosaurus-like teeth" with serrations that run all the way to the base of the crown and a later assigned toe were actually blessed with a name by Hu et al. in 2001, but it doesn't get much attention. Likelihood dictates that said dinosaur—Tyrannosaurus zhuchengensis—owns at least some of these remains, perhaps all of them, or maybe none. But nothing good ever comes of critters that are named on the strength of teeth and most experts think it should never have been christened in the first place.

Based on the what's known of its jaws, Zhuchengtyrannus was a deep-snouted tyrannosaurine in the mould of Tyrannosaurus, Tarbosaurus, and Lythronax. A like-for-like comparison of known parts suggests it may be one of the top six biggest carnivorous dinosaurs discovered thus far.

(Great Tyrant from Zhucheng)Etymology
Zhuchengtyrannus is derived from "Zucheng" (the city where it was discovered) and the Greek "tyrannos" (tyrant).
The species epithet, magnus, means "great" in Latin and refers to its large size.
Discovery
The only known fossils of Zhuchengtyrannus were discovered in the Wangshi Group of Zhucheng County, Shandong Province, China, in 2009 by a construction crew digging the foundations for a museum in which to house fossils of dinosaurs previously discovered in the same area. How's that for irony?
The holotype (ZCDM V0031) is a near complete maxilla (tooth bearing bone of the upper jaw) and a dentary (tooth bearing bone of the lower jaw). Most of the teeth are present.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-68 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 11 meters
Est. max. hip height: 4 meters
Est. max. weight: 6 tons
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Hone DW, K Wang, C Sullivan, X Zhao, S Chen, D Li, S Ji, Q Ji and X Xu (2011) "A new tyrannosaurine theropod, Zhuchengtyrannus magnus is named based on a maxilla and dentary". Cretaceous Research 32(4):495-503
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ZHUCHENGTYRANNUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 26th Jun 2017.
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