"Giraffe Mesozoic" Dinosaur Excavated

Monday, November 7, 2011

The remains of a dinosaur, nicknamed the "Mesozoic giraffe" because of its long neck and legs, was recently discovered in China, according to an article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Dinosaur Qiaowanlong Kangxi, is the first ever found in Brachiosaurus Cretaceous China.

Its name refers to a famous Qing Dynasty, Emperor Kangxi, and also contains the lyrics of "bridge", "double stream" and "dragon", references to the site and a dream of the emperor is said to have had.

Brachiosaurus - a family of herbivorous sauropods - are often quite large. One of the largest mounted skeletons in the world is a Brachiosaurus in the Humboldt Museum in Berlin. The new species is "relatively small" in comparison.

Another author Hai-lu You told Discovery News that the Chinese dinosaur was about 39.3 meters long, 9.8 meters long and weighed about 10 tons.

"As a member of brachiosaurids (family), it has a long neck and relatively long forelimbs," said Hai-Lu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing.

Hai-Lu and colleague Da-Qing Li analyzed the skeletal remains of dinosaurs, which were excavated in the basin of the northwestern province of Gansu Yujingzi. Back to the dinosaurs 100 million years.

The researchers found that the detention dinosaur bifurcated, or two parts, the nerve of the spine. These are known in other sauropods, but this is the first feature was found Brachiosaurus.

The structure of the spine, and the rest of the dinosaur bones, suggest that "the neck is considered high, with more vertical than horizontal behavior," said Hai Lu. That counters recent arguments other sauropods, indicating the very long neck almost parallel to the ground, sweeping back and forth like a metal detector.

Instead, Hai-Lu suggests that animals fed on leaves and other plant materials high above the ground, giving them less competitive niche food.

Previously it was thought that sauropods were more frequent during the Jurassic Period of North America and Africa, where some paleontologists theorize these dinosaurs were rapidly declining population of the Early Cretaceous.

"However, based on recent discoveries, more and more sauropods of the Cretaceous were recovered, and many are from Asia," said Hai Lu.

The site was found P. kangxii became a hotbed of dinosaur fossils from this period, with at least three new species discovered not only in recent years.

As a result, said Jerry Harris, director of paleontology at Dixie State College, New Discoveries that it is "rarely surprised" by the discovery of dinosaurs now unusual in China.

"What makes this discovery so important is how it fits into the big picture of how dinosaur populations were able to move generally in the Cretaceous," said Harris, explaining that land connections between continents were disappearing at around this time.

The Chinese New Brachiosaurus, however, share characteristics with dinosaurs found in North America, suggesting that some of the connections between the continents still existed at the time, but only intermittently, he said.

Dinosaurs 100 million years seems to have benefited from these compounds, which may explain why so many dinosaurs in North America and the Chinese seem to have been closely linked.

Harris believes that the new dinosaur found in China "is a wonderful discovery, that adds new knowledge and understanding of how dinosaurs could move during this period."

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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