long carnivore living around 160 million years ago has been identified as the earliest known member of the fierce TYRANNOSAURUS REX (T.REX)
family, Chinese and U.S. scientists reported on Wednesday(8 feb).
A close relative of Albertosaurus, king of the tyrant lizards Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the amazing dinosaurs to ever live. The largest known meat eater
, it was more than 12 metres (37 ft) long and stood almost as tall as a giraffe. Unlike a giraffe, however, Tyrannosaurus rex was massive and powerful.
The new species, found in Xinjiang in northwestern China, was identified as the most primitive known member of the tyrannosaurus family. The creature is a significantly smaller relative of T. rex, which could reach a towering 13 meters.
But its gaping, beak-like face armed with teeth, and its powerful legs, show that it would also have been a killer.
Dinosaur specimens of this vintage are rare, with most other Jurassic dinosaur fossils having been unearthed in America.