Science News

‘Dragon’ Dinosaur With 25-Foot Neck Discovered In China

Paleontologists have discovered a new species of long-neck dinosaur in central China with a 25-foot long neck, which is nearly half of its body length.

The dinosaur has been dubbed the Qijianglong, or “dragon of Quijang,” due to its similarity to the mythical Chinese dragon with its long neck. It’s possible ancient Chinese people based the mythical dragon on fossil discoveries. In 300 BC, the historian Chang Qu documented the discovery of “dragon” bones in the same province where Qijianglong was found, according to Fox News.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Tetsuto Miyashita” author_title=”Researcher and team member”]

I wonder if the ancient Chinese stumbled upon a skeleton of a long-necked dinosaur like Quijianglong and pictured that mythical creature.


The fossils were discovered by construction workers at a site close to Quijang City in 2006. Researchers found the head and neck still together, which is very rare as the small cranium is easily detached after the animal’s death. Researchers had the bones cast and mounted the cast skeleton in a museum but had no idea they had discovered a new species until recently.

The Qijanglong is a mamenchisaurid that lived about 160 million years ago. With most sauropods, the neck makes up just one-third of the body length, while mamenchisaur necks can be up to half of the animal’s body length, according to ABC News.

Unlike other mamenchisaurids discovered, the Qijianglong’s neck vertebrae are mostly air, which makes it much lighter. The fossils show interlocking joints that allowed the animal to move its neck easier horizontally instead of sideways.

Mamenchisaurids were indigenous to China only, although they have close relatives elsewhere in the world. It’s believed that they evolved in this region but could not spread to other continents as China was isolated at the time, according to CNN.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - Get Important Content Like This Delivered Directly To You

Get important content and more delivered to you once or twice a week.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.