Every child in this world has seen Jurassic Park, The Land Before Time or Journey to the Center of the Earth, and secretly wished to see a live dinosaur at least once. Dinosaurs are definitely the most fascinating creatures to have walked the planet. However, our knowledge is very limited when it comes to them. Most people only think about classic ones, such as the T-Rex, Pterodactyl or the Triceratops. In reality, there are hundreds of species of dinosaurs, and every year scientists discover new ones. Let’s take a look at 5 lesser known Dinosaur species that were recently uncovered.
1. Qianzhousaurus Sinensis
The Qianzhousaurus Sinensis, also known as the Pinocchio rex. has a unique and distinctive feature: an oversized schnoz, just like Pinocchio. This snout, which is 35% longer than regular dinosaur noses, has several horns poking out of the muzzle. As you can imagine, this weird dinosaur has a rather ridiculous appearance. As far as the other physical traits are concerned, the Qianzhousaurus is extremely similar to the T-Rex that most people know: it has small, short hands and powerful back legs. The discovery of this tyrannosaur has proved that former fossils, which were considered deformed juvenile dinosaurs stuck in an awkward stage, were actually normal. The elongated nose was probably used for scavenging and hunting.
2. Yongjinglong Datangi
The vast majority of dinosaur discoveries in the past years consisted mainly of meat-eating specimens. However, there has been a major discovery of plant-eating dinosaurs recently. The Yongjinglong Datangi is an enormous, gentle sauropod which was uncovered in northwestern China. It is believed to have belonged to Titanosauria – the largest group of dinosaurs in the world. Although the bones discovered are believed to belong to a juvenile, and even so the entire skeleton measures 18 meters long. In addition to this, scientists consider that the Datangi dinosaur is one of the most evolutionarily advanced titanosaur in Asia.
3. Kryptodrakon Progenitor
If you’ve seen Jurassic Park you are probably already familiar with the pterosaurs (the scary flying dinosaurs). To clarify things, the pterosaur isn’t actually a dinosaur, but it is a close relative of it. The skeleton of a primitive relative of the pterosaurs was dug up in northwestern China recently. This flying-giant is believed to have lived around the Middle-Upper Jurassic period. Unlike other reptiles from its species, which first evolved in the sea, the Kryptodrakon Progenitor evolved on land. What is even more unbelievable about it is the size. The first pterodactyloid pterosaur could reach a wingspan of 1.4 meters, but the Pryptodrakon has the size of a small plane. This is because it moved out toward land, and it needed to walk and fly like never before.
Number four on our list of lesser known dinosaurs is the Eudromaeus, a funny looking “dawn runner” that walked the Earth approximately 230 million years ago. Scientists say that it is the ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, because it has many similar features (example: air pockets in the skull and a balancing tail). The discovery of the Eodromaeus is invaluable for science because it shows us a glimpse on how dinosaurs evolved (scientists know little about the evolutionary process of dinosaurs).
5. Anzu Wyliei
The Anzu Wyliei is without a doubt the most interesting dinosaurs on our list. It was dubbed by researchers “the chicken from hell”. Its scientific name is actually inspired from the feathered demon in Mesopotamiam mythology (if you play World of Wacraft you are probably also familiar with the Anzu Lord from Terokkar Forest – a monstrous blue-winged bird-like creature). Anyway, the Anzu Wyliei looks like a demon version of the cassowary (a large bird similar to the ostriches). Its incredibly well-preserved, extremely large, skeleton was recently found in North America. But what’s so scary about this oviraptor? It is equipped with extremely sharp claws designed for tearing apart small animals and a jaw meant to tear leaves off.