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Researchers Discover 240-Million-Year-Old Reptile That Looks Like a “Chinese Dragon”

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Researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery: a complete image of a 240 million year old marine reptile with a neck that is remarkably lengthy, like to a Chinese dragon. The dinosaur, called Dinocephalosaurus orientalis, was initially discovered in 2003 in the Chinese province of Guizhou.



The amazing traits of this Triassic period reptile have been illuminated by recent studies by an international team of specialists. Dinocephalosaurus, with its 32 distinct neck vertebrae and flippered limbs, is thought to have been extremely well-suited to water life. This adaptability is further supported by fish found in its stomach region that are remarkably well-preserved.

One of the researchers, Nick Fraser of National Museums Scotland, was excited about the finding and said, “This allows us to see this remarkable long-necked animal in full for the very first time.” Scientists throughout the world have been enthralled with Dinocephalosaurus’s remarkable appearance, which has been compared to that of legendary dragons.



Dinocephalosaurus is comparable to other aquatic reptiles, such as Tanystropheus hydroides, but it is distinguished by having a long neck that resembles a snake. It is not closely linked to long-necked plesiosaurs, despite apparent similarities.

Researchers from China, Germany, Scotland, and the United States participated in the ten-year study, which was carried out at Beijing’s Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology. Professor Li Chun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences called Dinocephalosaurus “the most remarkable” of the amazing fossils from the Triassic period in Guizhou province.

Paleontologists are still fascinated by this ground-breaking discovery, which is described in the Earth and Environmental Science journal and provides insightful information on the varied fauna of the ancient planet.

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