Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SCIENCE NEWS! Long-necked dinosaur roamed China 160 million years ago

 As a child I (Rob) was fascinated by dinosaurs. I had a small fossil collection, and books on them. I knew every prehistoric period by name and in date order (then!). I had 2-3" plastic dinosaur and prehistoric mammal figures I used to play with. Every year in school I did science reports on dinosaurs.  So, I get excited when a new species is discovered and that happened last week in China. 

Here's the story from EarthSky.org: 

Long-necked dinosaur roamed China 160 million years ago

Scientists report on the discovery in China of a new species of dinosaur – calling Qijianglong – a creature that was “half neck.”
Artist's concept of newly discovered long-necked dinosaur, called Qijianglong.  Credit: Xing Lida
Artist’s concept of newly discovered long-necked dinosaur, called Qijianglong. Credit: Xing Lida
Among dinosaurs, it seems, there were long necks and there were looooonnnnnggggg necks. Paleontologists reported on January 26, 2015 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on the discovery in China of a new species of dinosaur, a creature that was half neck. They are calling it Qijianglong (pronounced CHI-jyang-lon), meaning dragon of Qijiang, for its discovery in Qijiang, a district of the municipality of Chongqing, China. Construction workers in 2006 stumbled on the fossil site. Scientists ultimately unearthed of series of large neck vertebrae stretched out in the ground – with the head of the dinosaur was still attached. Altogether, scientists say, Qijianglong was about 45 feet (about 14 meters) long. Best estimates suggest it lived about 160 million years ago in the Late Jurassic.
University of Alberta PhD student Tetsuto Miyashita, who was a co-author in the study, was quoted in Science20.com as saying:
Qijianglong is a cool animal. If you imagine a big animal that is half neck, you can see that evolution can do quite extraordinary things.
It is rare to find a head and neck of a long-necked dinosaur together because the head is so small and easily detached after the animal dies.
China is home to the ancient myths of dragons. I wonder if the ancient Chinese stumbled upon a skeleton of a long-necked dinosaur like Qijianglong and pictured that mythical creature.
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The city of Chongqing in the Chongqing Municipality is called
The city of Chongqing in the Chongqing Municipality is called “a city built on dinosaur’s backs.” Fossils’ of dinosaurs are found in most of the 40 regions of Chongqing Municipality, which has an area of 82,000 square kilometers. Image via Archaeologynewsnetwork
Qijiang is one of the districts in Chongqing where dinosaurs' tracks and fossils have been found. Map via Archaeologynewsnetwork
Qijiang is one of the districts in Chongqing Municipality where dinosaurs’ tracks and fossils have been found. Map via Archaeologynewsnetwork
The Science20.com post also said:
The new species belongs to a group of dinosaurs called mamenchisaurids, known for their extremely long necks sometimes measuring up to half the length of their bodies. Most sauropods, or long-necked dinosaurs, have necks only about one third the length of their bodies.
Unique among mamenchisaurids, Qijianglong had neck vertebrae that were filled with air, making their necks relatively lightweight despite their enormous size. Interlocking joints between the vertebrae also indicate a surprisingly stiff neck that was much more mobile bending vertically than sideways, similar to a construction crane.
Mamenchisaurids are only found in Asia, but the discovery of Qijianglong reveals that there could be as many differences among mamenchisaurids as there are between long-necked dinosaurs from different continents.
The Qijianglong skeleton is now housed in a local museum in Qijiang.
Bottom line: Scientists reported last week (January 26, 2015) on the discovery of a new species of dinosaur called Qijianglong. It’s one of the group of dinosaurs called mamenchisaurids, whose necks sometimes measure up to half the length of their bodies. It was unearthed in Qijiang, a district of the municipality of Chongqing, China, where many other dinosaur fossils have been found.

SOURCE: http://earthsky.org/

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next