Paleontologists in Qijiang city, China have discovered a new species of dinosaur whose physical characteristics bear resemblance to a dragon. The creature likely lived 160 million years ago and stretched 50 feet long, with an elongated neck.
Local farmers who saw the fossils noticed the similarity and gave the dinosaur its name: Qijianglong, or the “dragon of Qijiang.”
The Qijianglong belongs to the mamenchisaurids group of dinosaurs, found only in Asia and known for necks that can make up half the length of their bodies. By comparison, the sauropoda family that includes better-known dinosaurs like the Apatosaurus (a.k.a. Brontosaurus) have necks that span only a third of their bodies.
The research team found the vertebrae, skull and tail (but not the hand or leg bones) in a site where a fish pond was being dug. The skeleton is temporarily on display in a local museum, but will move to a dinosaur museum in the city that is still under construction.