Joint Chinese and Japanese Research Team announce new Sauropod Species

Chinese news sources have confirmed the announcement of the discovery of a new species of Sauropod (long-necked dinosaur) in eastern China.  The partial, dis-articulated skeleton indicates a Titanosaur-like animal with an estimate height of 5 metres and an approximate length of 15 metres.  The fossils were unearthed from Cretaceous period sediments at the foot of Hugong mountain, near to the large city of Dongyang in Zhejiang Province, eastern China.

The fossil was originally discovered in September 2007 and after a preliminary examination of the fossil bones by researchers from the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History aided by their Japanese colleagues, it has been declared a new species of dinosaur.

The deputy curator of Zhejiang Museum, Jin Xingsheng has made a statement describing the work carried out to date and claimed: ” It (the fossil) demonstrates many unique features, different from any identified dinosaur species.  It will enrich the dinosaur family”.

This new dinosaur has yet to be formerly described and named, further research is currently being conducted and this will be subject to peer review.  The fossils are being restored at the Dongyang museum and there are plans to put them on exhibit in late May or early June.  The animal has not been named yet, but it has been muted that the name will reflect the fossil site’s close proximity to the large city of Dongyang.  It is also likely that the Chinese scientists will reflect their own nomenclature framework when naming this new species, using a Chinese name rather than a standard Latinized approach.  Western palaeontologists are bracing themselves, anticipating another very long genus name and one that will prove tricky to pronounce given the recent track record on dinosaur discoveries from China.

For example, Zhejiang Province first come to prominence as far as Titanosaur remains are concerned in 1977 when the 22 metre long Jiangshanosaurus lixianensis was unearthed.  This Titanosaur probably possessed some form of body armour and dates from approximately 125 million years ago early-mid Cretaceous (Aptian faunal stage).

In August 2007, scientists announced the identification of a new dinosaur species of armoured dinosaur which had been found near Lishui city in Zhejiang Province.  This new species was named Zhejiangosaurus lishuiensis which roughly translates to “Zhejiang lizard of Lishui”.  Zhejiangosaurus has been classified as a member of the Nodosauridae a group of armoured, herbivorous, bird-hipped dinosaurs.  This animal has been named from a partial skeleton consisting of a preserved sacrum, part of the ischium, the pubis plus some vertebrae and front limb bones.

To read more about the discovery of Zhejiangosaurus:

New Dinosaur Species Announced in Eastern China

This article has been compiled using a number of news sources including the Xinhua news agency.

Getting up Close to a new Species of Dinosaur

Picture credit: zjol.com.china

The picture shows a palaeontologist examining part of the matrix from which the new species of dinosaur was extracted.

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