A New Tyrannosauroid from Northern China – Jinbeisaurus wangi

Over the last two years or so, there have been a number of exciting dinosaur discoveries.  Some amazing dinosaur fossils have been found and scientifically described, but sometimes mere scraps of bone, just fragmentary remains can be enough to set the pulses of vertebrate palaeontologists racing.  Take for example, the new genus of Late Cretaceous tyrannosaur from northern China that was formally described back in April.  At around 5-6 metres in length Jinbeisaurus wangi, may not be the largest carnivorous dinosaur known from Upper Cretaceous deposits from Asia, but it does represent the first theropod to be described from the Chinese province of Shanxi.

An initial assessment led to the jaw bones, partial pubis (bone from the hip) and incomplete dorsal and cervical vertebrae, being assigned to the Tarbosaurus genus, but unique characteristics associated with the shape and proportion of the maxilla led to erection of a new species.

The Genus Has Been Erected Based on Autapomorphies Identified in the Jaws

Views of the maxillae of J. wangi.

Views of J. wangi maxillae and accompanying line drawings.  The photograph (above) shows photographs of the upper jaw bones (maxillae), plus a close-up view of a single tooth.

Picture Credit: Xiao-Chun Wu et al (Cretaceous Research)

Not a Juvenile Tarbosaurus

The scientific paper describing Jinbeisaurus (pronounced jin-bay-sore-us), was published in late 2019 in the journal “Cretaceous Research”, although it had originally been submitted in the spring, only to be revised before final publication.  When the fossil material was found near the city of Yangjiayao, Tianzhen County, Shanxi Province, in northern China, it was suggested that the bones could represent a juvenile Tarbosaurus.  This new dinosaur, J. wangi adds to the known diversity of tyrannosauroids in Asia and represents the first theropod to have been discovered in Shanxi Province, although isolated teeth representing carnivorous dinosaurs are known from the area.

Views of the Upper and Lower Jaw Bones of J. wangi

Views of the upper and lower Jaw of J. wangi with accompanying line drawings.

Views of the upper and lower Jaw of J. wangi with accompanying line drawings.

Picture Credit: Xiao-Chun Wu et al (Cretaceous Research)

Estimated to have measured around 5-6 metres long, Jinbeisaurus wangi is regarded as more derived than Suskityrannus (S. hazelae) a tyrannosauroid from New Mexico named earlier in 2019.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s post about Suskityrannus: Getting a Glimpse of a Mid-Cretaceous Tyrannosauroid.

The scientific paper: “A new tyrannosauroid from the Upper Cretaceous of Shanxi, China” by Xiao-Chun Wu, Jian-Ru Shi, Li-Yang Dong, Thomas D. Carr, Jian Yi and Shi-Chao Xu published in Cretaceous Research.

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