Paleontologists Discover 240 Million-Year-Old ‘Chinese Dragon’ Fossil

Paleontologists Discover 240 Million-Year-Old ‘Chinese Dragon’ Fossil

A team of paleontologists from National Museums Scotland have uncovered a complete 240 million year old fossil of Dinocephalosaurus orientalis in ancient limestone deposits in southern China. The aquatic reptile from the Triassic period has been dubbed a “dragon” on account of its elongated neck and snake-like appearance that is resemblant of the legendary Chinese dragon. A very fitting discovery during the year of the dragon in the Chinese zodiac.

Dr Nick Fraser, National Museums Scotland, has said that Dinocephalosaurus orientalis is “a very strange animal” that it had “flipper-like limbs and its neck is longer than its body and tail combined”. Dinocephalosaurus orientalis was first identified in 2003 in Guizhou Province, southern China, but this latest 5m (16ft) long fossil is more complete and gives a clearer depiction this peculiar prehistoric reptile.

An international team of researchers from Scotland, China, Germany and USA have since published a paper on their findings in the journal Earth and Environmental Science: Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Original articles:

Fossil reveals 240 million-year-old ‘Chinese dragon’ : NPR

Fossil reveals 240 million year-old ‘dragon’ – BBC News

Scientists unveil 240-million-year-old ‘dragon’ fossil (

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