Scientists officially unveil baffling 240-million-year-old 'Chinese dragon' skeleton

A team of international scientists discovered a 240-million-year-old fossil from the Triassic period whose appearance resembles a mythical creature.

1 minute & 14 seconds read time

A group of international researchers discovered a 240-million-year-old fossil that strongly resembles a mythical creature from China.

Scientists officially unveil baffling 240-million-year-old 'Chinese dragon' skeleton 2611

The team of scientists discovered a new fossil of the Dinocephalosaurus orientalis, which is a 16-foot-long aquatic reptile that lived during the Triassic period and was home to modern-day China. The fossil dates back approximately 240 million years, and according to a recent press release from the National Museums of Scotland, the new fossil was discovered in the Guizhou Province of southern China.

Notably, the remains of Dinocephalosaurus orientalis were first discovered in 2003 with the recovery of a skull, but now this new fossil has enabled researchers to quite literally piece together the rest of the strange creature. Dinocephalosaurus orientalis are long-necked creatures with 32 separate neck vertebrae and a skull and jaw designed to trap fish. Furthermore, the neck vertebrae gave Dinocephalosaurus orientalis a snake-like appearance, leading to the striking resemblance to the mythical Chinese dragon.

Scientists officially unveil baffling 240-million-year-old 'Chinese dragon' skeleton 26621

"This discovery allows us to see this remarkable long-necked animal in full for the very first time. It is yet one more example of the weird and wonderful world of the Triassic that continues to baffle palaeontologists. We are certain that it will capture imaginations across the globe due to its striking appearance, reminiscent of the long and snake-like, mythical Chinese Dragon," said Dr Nick Fraser FRSE, Keeper of Natural Sciences at National Museums Scotland

"This remarkable marine reptile is another example of the stunning fossils that continue to be discovered in China," said Editor-in-Chief of Transactions and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Robert Ellam

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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