Long-necked dinosaurs seem to have the longest necks of all

by up to 3 metres Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum Previous record holder for “Longest Necked Animal Ever”.

The giraffe has a length of more than 2 meters, and it has the longest neck of all animals. Or, well, of everything He lives the animals. Over a hundred years ago, dinosaurs crossed over from the genus Sauroposidon And it – literally and figuratively – is above it with a neck up to 12 meters long. But now researchers have discovered “boss over president”: Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum It was found that its neck was more than 15 meters long. In doing so, this dinosaur now wins the title of “Animal with the Longest Neck Ever”.

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Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum It was discovered as an incomplete stone in China in 1987 by a team Dinosaur project between China and Canada, after which it was also named. In the late Jurassic period, about 162 million years ago, this four-legged herbivore walked around the world. The species belongs to Sauropoda, A clade Giant dinosaurs that also includes the famous Brachiosaurus. Sauropods are known for their large, stocky, barrel-shaped body with four huge elephant-like legs underneath, with a long neck on one side and a counterweight tail on the other. M. sinocanadorum It was no exception to this construction plan.

Figuring out which Sauropoda has the longest neck is quite a challenge. Complete skeletons of these dinosaurs are hard to find. For example, it would take a hole the size of an apartment complex to completely petrify one of these giants.

Temporary record holder

Researchers at Stony Brook University, the London Museum of Natural History, Yunnan University and Zigong Dinosaur Museum collaborated to study the evolutionary history of the family Mamenchisauridae. In doing so, they compared the bones to those closely related species for which more complete skeletons are available. They were then able to derive the dimensions of the Mamenchisauridae from this known data.

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During the study, the team concluded this Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum Its neck is about 15.1 meters long. “Mamenchisaurids is important because it was the first line of sauropods to push the limits of neck length,” says lead author Andrew Moore in a statement. press release. “With a 15-meter neck it looks like this M. sinocanadorum It could be a record holder – at least, until a taller dinosaur is discovered.”

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The discovery immediately prompted a new question: How could this dinosaur support itself without collapsing under its own weight? Researchers also found an answer to this. A CT scan of the vertebrae showed that up to 77 percent of the bones consist of air. So the bones were mostly hollow, which made them relatively light. This weight-saving mechanism can also be seen in the skeletons of birds today.

But these light bones break easily. To prevent this, the neck bones were strengthened with “cervical ribs” 4 m long, extensions of the vertebrae that formed rod bundles on either side of the neck.

sources: Journal of Systematic PaleontologyAnd New AtlasAnd Natural History Museum

Photo: Julia Dolivera

Winton Frazier

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