Humongous fuzzy dinosaur unearthed in China (+video)
An ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, Yutyrannus huali weighed 3,000 pounds and was covered in a downy fuzz.
A newly discovered titanic tyrannosaur is the biggest feathered dinosaur yet, reaching up to 30 feet (9 meters) long and weighing more than 3,000 pounds.
While smaller than Tyrannosaurus rex, the new species, named Yutyrannus huali — meaning "beautiful feathered tyrant" — is still 40 times the weight of the largest feathered dinosaur known previously, Beipiaosaurus, which was described in 1999.
"Yutyrannus dramatically increases the size range of dinosaurs for which we have definite evidence of feathers," study researcher Xing Xu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing said in a statement. "It’s possible that feathers were much more widespread, at least among the meat-eating dinosaurs, than most scientists would have guessed even a few years ago."
The researchers found three well-preserved fossils of the species in a dig in Liaoning Province, in northeastern China, the same place Xu and his colleagues discovered Beipiaosaurus. [Album: The World's Biggest Beasts]