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Research. They showed fossils of a “dragon” from 240 million years ago

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It lived 240 million years ago and its body length was five meters. Scientists presented reptile fossils found in southern China. The most characteristic feature of the animal, called “dragon” by researchers, is its neck.

Scientists have revealed fossils of an ancient sea creature discovered in China. The animal, which lived 240 million years ago, called the “Chinese dragon”, belongs to a species Dinocephalosaurus orientalis. This reptile used its extremely long neck to ambush unsuspecting prey. It lived in shallow waters during the Triassic period, 252-201 million years ago.

It measured five meters

The species was first found in limestone deposits in southern China’s Guizhou province in 2003, but scientists have combined its remains for the first time to reconstruct its full five-meter span.

Dinocephalosaurus orientalis swimming among prehistoric fish known as SaurichthysMarlene Donelly

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The strange and wonderful world of the Triassic

“This is another example of the weird and wonderful world of the Triassic that continues to surprise paleontologists,” Nick Fraser, natural sciences keeper at National Museums Scotland, said in a statement. “We are sure it will attract attention around the world due to its striking appearance, resembling the long and serpent-like mythical Chinese dragon.”

The fossil reveals some of the ancient reptile’s striking features. First and foremost is its neck, which stretches almost 2.3 meters and contains 32 separate vertebrae. For comparison, giraffes (like humans) only have seven cervical vertebrae. This shape of the “dragon’s” neck probably gave it an extraordinary ability to sneak up on its victims, which it could do using its webbed limbs. Some of the fish the creature caught were preserved inside its belly.

Scientists revealed the new discoveries in the journal “Earth and Environmental Science: Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh”.

Dinocephalosaurus orientalisNational Museums Scotland

LiveScience.com, National Museums Scotland, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: National Museums Scotland

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