A skeleton dating back to approximately 160 million years ago of a 50-foot long dinosaur with elongated neck has been unearthed by a team of paleontologists in Qijiang City, China.
The fossil of the herbivorous creature has been named Qijianglong guokr, which was discovered by the construction workers in China in the year 2006. According to the scientists, the workers succeeded in digging the skeleton out of the land with the head attached to its elongated neck.
One of the most exciting things of the dinosaur skeleton is its physical characteristics that resemble those of a dragon.
As the dinosaur’s bones resemble the shape of mythical dragons of China, the local farmers gave the fossil the name Qijianglong, which means the Dragon of Qijian.
Study researcher Lida Xing, of the University of Alberta, said, “We found the dinosaur’s huge vertebrae with the skull and the tail, but couldn’t find any bones from the hands or the legs. So the locals began to say the long body looked just like a dragon from ancient Chinese stories.”
According to the researchers, the new species fall into a group of dinosaurs called mamenchisaurids that are mainly characterized by their extremely long neck.
Writing for the research paper, the researchers said, “Qijianglong is the first mamenchisaurid from the Late Jurassic of China that is definitively distinct from Mamenchisaurus, indicating greater morphological and taxonomic diversity of the poorly represented Late Jurassic mamenchisaurids.”
The Qijianglong skeleton is currently placed at a museum in Qijiang, but it will be moved to a new museum of dinosaur that is currently under construction.
The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on January 26.