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This Dinosaur Had a 50-Foot-Lengthy Neck, Scientists Say | Wise News


Mar 17, 2023

A rendering of Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum dinosaurs with their 50-foot-extended necks.
Júlia d’Oliveira

A dinosaur that roamed East Asia 162 million years ago had an impressive, 50-foot-extended neck, according to a new paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

The creature, named Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum, belonged to a group named sauropods. These significant, plant-consuming dinosaurs are identified for their lengthy necks and tails—but, according to the scientists’ estimate, Mamenchisaurus had the longest neck of them all.

Researchers uncovered the dinosaur’s fossilized remains in China in 1987, but they didn’t have a lot of the creature to study—only a couple of bones, which includes some vertebrae and a rib, writes New Scientist’s Chris Stokel-Walker.

Nevertheless, the scientists estimated the length of the dinosaur’s neck by comparing the restricted proof to far more total skeletons of its relatives. They looked at the 44-foot-extended neck of a sauropod named Xinjiangtitan, which was found in 2013 and is the longest total neck ever identified, according to the New York Instances Jack Tamisiea.

“Our analyses make us pretty confident that Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum had 18 vertebrae in its neck, mainly because close cousins identified from far more total skeletons all have 18 cervical vertebrae,” Andrew Moore, a co-author of the study and a paleontologist at Stony Brook University, told Reside Science’s Laura Geggel in an e mail. “So, focusing just on these close relatives with equivalent necks, we scaled up.”

The researchers determined that the Mamenchisaurus neck was about 49.five feet extended, per a statement. Such a length would have come in handy for foraging—the creatures could effectively graze significant amounts of vegetation, Moore tells Reside Science.

“The extended necks of these animals are wonderful, even by dinosaur requirements,” David Hone, a paleontologist who research dinosaurs at Queen Mary University of London and was not involved in the study, tells New Scientist. “Understanding their evolution is actually significant to see how these animals lived.”

The dinosaurs evolved a couple of approaches to handle their unwieldy necks. Researchers utilized CT scans to discover that most of the vertebrae’s volume—about 69 to 77 percent—was air, equivalent to the vertebrae of some birds. Such air-filled bones would be lighter, generating it less difficult for the Mamenchisaurus to hold up its giant neck, per the statement.

“Having such a extended neck is a significant weight that you have to position away from your physique,” Cary Woodruff, a paleontologist at the Frost Science Museum who research sauropods and did not contribute to the paper, tells the New York Instances. “If you have to hold a hammer with your arm stretched out, your arm’s going to get tired quite rapid.”

For added help, the dinosaur had 13-foot-extended ribs that would have created its neck far more steady and much less prone to injury, according to the statement. It also held its neck at a comparatively shallow angle of 20 to 30 degrees.

“The extended-necked dinosaurs evolved their personal, distinct approaches of coping with giantism and supporting extended necks, and there are many wonderful deposits with extended-necked sauropods across China,” Natalia Jagielska, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland who didn’t contribute to the study, tells New Scientist.



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