Animals New dinosaur Aorun zhaoi

Published on May 4th, 2013 | by James Ayre


New Dinosaur Discovered In China — Meat-Eating Dragon King From The Late Jurassic

A new species of meat-eating dinosaur has been discovered in northwestern China by researchers from George Washington University. The fossil remains of the small theropod dinosaur show that the individual in question was less than a year old when it died. The new species has been named Aorun zhaoi, after the Dragon King of the Chinese epic Journey to the West.

New dinosaur Aorun zhaoi

Image Credit: Photo courtesy of James Clark, George Washington University

The fossils were found by James Clark, the Ronald B. Weintraub Professor of Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, in the remote Xinjiang region of China, back in 2006.

At the site of the find, a skull, a mandible and part of the skeleton of the dinosaur were discovered. The new species is estimated to have been about 1 meter long (over 3 feet), and likely only weighed around 3 pounds.

“All that was exposed on the surface was a bit of the leg,” said Dr. Clark. “We were pleasantly surprised to find a skull buried in the rock too.”

Because the only fossils yet discovered of this species are of this juvenile it’s unclear how large these animals could grow to be.

“We were able to look at microscopic details of Aorun’s bones and they showed that the animal was less than a year old when it died on the banks of a stream,” said Dr. Choiniere, a senior researcher at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

“Aorun lived more than 161 million years ago, in the earliest part of the Late Jurassic Period. Its small, numerous teeth suggest that it would have eaten prey like lizards and small relatives of today’s mammals and crocodilians.”

The new species was described in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

In related news, the oldest fossil yet of a marine reptile was recently discovered in the Netherlands, and suggests that marine reptiles likely originated in Europe.

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • fuck

    Where are the artist’s renditions!?

  • Suites In Downtown New Orleans

    Interesting to read… but is it real? cant say

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  • Humguy

    these are just fake fossil that satan had the jews bury after WW2

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    • Beverlee Carrell

      How did you get so stupid ? You are a piece of work and what other cult beliefs are you a fan of? You must know satan very well since you speak for him.

  • Leto Atreides

    There is no such thing as a man-eating dinosaur.

    • John doe

      Agreed, Fred Flintstone never tasted brontosaurus burgers, maybe mammoth.

    • Austin

      What are you referring to? The article says “meat-eating”.

  • bicfj

    Looks like Kentucky Fried Dragon.

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