The narrow-nosed beast was slightly smaller and more slender than T. rex, but was still a top predator, researchers say. It roamedthe Earth more than 66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period, just before the space-rock impact that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs.
The new creature heralds the existence of a new clade, or group, of dinosaurs, according to the study detailed today (May 7) in the journal Nature Communications.
“People have a picture of tyrannosaursas apex predators â€” the biggest, baddest, meanest dinosaurs,” said study researcher Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland.
The new dinosaur fits that image in some ways, but not quite as closely as T. rex does. Although big and at the top of the food chain, the long-nosed dino wouldn’t have been able to “crunch through bone” like T. rex, Brusatte told Live Science.