Tyrannomimus WEB
Sure, this thing looks exactly like Tyrannosaurus rex, but don’t be fooled: it’s only a tyrannosaur mimic! It’s not closely related, it’s not a new rival, it’s not shedding new light on the media’s . . . er, everyone’s favorite dinosaur. It’s just a clever impersonation, like the paleontological equivalent of Rich Little. Totally not a clone. Nope. But anyone could be forgiven for mistaking it for T. rex, absolutely!

Japan scores another new dinosaur, and this one has been a long time coming. For years, the prolific dinosaur sites in Fukui prefecture have produced skeletons of ostrich-like ornithomimosaur dinosaurs, and scientists have finally accumulated enough data from these scattered remains to establish a new taxon based upon them. Here’s the lowdown on what they’ve discovered about Tyrannomimus fukuiensis:

In short (too late?), we now know that a small, emu-like dinosaur ran around in Early Cretaceous Japan, and it shared design features for its speediness with tyrannosaurs despite their relatively distant evolutionary relationship. Whether it would make good yaki-tori or karaage is still anyone’s guess.

* Hattori, S., Shibata, M., Kawabe, S. et al. New theropod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Japan provides critical implications for the early evolution of ornithomimosaurs. Sci Rep 13, 13842 (2023).
* Holtz, Thomas R. “The phylogenetic position of the Tyrannosauridae: implications for theropod systematics.” Journal of Paleontology 68.5 (1994): 1100-1117.
* Holtz, T. R. (1998). A new phylogeny of the carnivorous dinosaurs. GAIA: revista de geociências, (15), 5.
* Rauhut, O. W. (2003). A tyrannosauroid dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal. Palaeontology, 46(5), 903-910.