New Dinosaur Species Discovered
Who doesn’t love a little dinosaur news?
A couple of
nerds paleontologists of the University of Alberta discovered the skeleton a new ultra-long-necked dinosaur species in China and published their findings in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
This new dino is called Qijianglong (CHI-jyang-lon), translating to “dragon of Qijiang.” It belongs to a group of dinosaurs called mamenchisaurids, dinosaurs with necks measuring up to half the length of their bodies. Despite the enormous size of Qijianglong’s neck, it was also surprisingly light as the vertebrae were filled with air. The linkage between the vertebrae also indicate significant stiffness in the horizontal direction, meaning this dinosaur would have probably moved its head just up and down, more like a crane and less like a snake.
It is exciting that this skeleton was discovered with the head and neck together because the small head of long-necked dinosaurs are often detached and lost from their relatively enormous bodies. *cough* *cough* brontosaurus
One of the researchers, Tetsuto Miyashita believes that following the extinction of other long-necked dinosaurs in Asia, that the mamenchisaurids evolved into a variety of forms.
If you want to see this awesome skeleton, you can travel to a museum in Qijiang. As Miyashita put it, “China is home to the ancient myths of dragons, I wonder if the ancient Chinese stumbled upon a skeleton of a long-necked dinosaur like Qijianglong and pictured that mythical creature.”
Source: University of Alberta