Tags: dragon | dinosaur | china | 50-foot | neck | breathe | fire

Dragon Dinosaur in China With 50-Foot Neck Didn't Breathe Fire

By    |   Friday, 30 Jan 2015 12:23 PM

The remains of a dragon dinosaur that stalked Earth 160 million years ago have been found in southwestern China, according to a study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The creature's 50-foot neck is an allusion to dragons which actually never existed and didn't breathe fire.

The fossil remains were discovered by local farmers in the Chinese city of Qijiang in 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal. The farmers were digging a fishing pond when they came upon the bones.

Paleontologists from the University of Alberta finished digging up the fossils, which they believe date back to the late Jurassic period.

"The holotype consists of an incomplete skull, partly articulated axial skeleton, and fragmentary appendicular skeleton," stated the abstract from the journal study.

"A well-preserved braincase and skull roof provide rare insights into the poorly known neurocranial anatomy of mamenchisaurids and reveal a unique combination of characters such as an accessory tuber at the base of planar basipterygoid process and parietal excluding frontal from the anterior margin of the supratemporal fenestra," the abstract said.

Paleontologist graduate students Tetsuto Miyashita and Lida Xing and professor Philip Currie said in a statement from University of Albert that the dinosaur, called Qijianglong, is a new species of long-necked dinosaurs.

"It is rare to find a head and neck of a long-necked dinosaur together because the head is so small and easily detached after the animal dies," said Miyashita. "Qijianglong is a cool animal. If you imagine a big animal that is half neck, you can see that evolution can do quite extraordinary things."

Miyashita said the new species is part of the mamenchisaurids dinosaur family, which is known for their extremely long necks that sometimes stretch to up to half the length of their bodies. Most long-necked dinosaurs have necks only about one-third the length of their bodies.

"Qijianglong shows that long-necked dinosaurs diversified in unique ways in Asia during Jurassic times – something very special was going on in that continent," Miyashita said in the University of Alberta statement. "Nowhere else we can find dinosaurs with longer necks than those in China. The new dinosaur tells us that these extreme species thrived in isolation from the rest of the world."

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The remains of a dragon dinosaur that stalked Earth 160 million years ago have been found in southwestern China, according to a study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The creature's 50-foot neck is an allusion to dragons which actually never existed and didn't breathe fire.
dragon, dinosaur, china, 50-foot, neck, breathe, fire
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2015-23-30
Friday, 30 Jan 2015 12:23 PM
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