Paleontologists have discovered the fossil remains of a dinosaur that is 50-feet long with an elongated neck. According to them, it may have lived 160 million years ago.
They have named it Qijianglong, which means the ‘dragon of Qijiang’. It is named after the mythical creature that had once ruled the Chinese culture, combined with the name of the city where it was dug up. Locals there thought it resembled the dragon. Paleontologists have failed to find the remaining parts of its skeleton including bones of its hands and legs.
The fossil of the dinosaur is around 15m in length and was found with its head still attached to its neck. Paleontologists have added that finding the skull attached to such a long neck doesn’t happen very often due to how fragile the skull fossil is.
Tetsuto Miyashita, PhD student at the University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Canada, Anatomy, Developmental Biology and Paleobiology, and the lead author of the study, said, “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. 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. “
The paleontologists added that the new species belonged to a group of dinosaurs known as mamenchisaurids, which are characterized by their extremely long neck. Qijianglong is the latest addition to the mamenchisaurid group and the find shows just how diversified long-necked dinosaurs were in Asia during the Jurassic time. The researchers noted that nowhere in the world are there dinosaurs that have longer necks than those in China suggesting that there were extreme species that lived in isolation with paleontologists proposing that the isolation is due to sea or other natural barriers.