Qijianglong the long necked Mamenchisaurids dinosaur discovered in China

A research team from the University of Alberta has found the skeleton of a new species of long naked dinosaur in China.

The name of this dinosaur is Qijianglong (to be pronounced as “CHI-jyang-lon”). The length of Qijianglong is 15 meters, and it existed during Late Jurassic period; nearly 160 million years back. Qijianglong essentially means “dragon of Qijiang,” named after the city where it was found. An interesting finding was Qijianglong is a rare example where head and neck of such long-necked dinosaur was still attached. It belongs to a particular group of dinosaur called mamenchisaurids, famous for their long neck. One-third of their body used to be just neck.


Another unique feature of Qijianglong was, the neck vertebrae were filled with air; therefore in spite of the huge size, it managed to stay lighter. The presence of Interlocking joints provided the neck with more flexibility vertically.

Tetsuto Miyashita from the team said Qijianglong is a great example that shows the magical effect of evolution.

Asia was the place where Mamenchisaurids primarily lived. At the same time, the discovery of Qijianglong reveals huge diversification displayed by Mamenchisaurids. Also, nowhere else it would be possible to find dinosaurs with a longer neck than the one found in China. This shows that they could survive in isolation, added Miyashita.


Miyashita also suggested that even after extinction of other types of long-necked dinosaurs, mamenchisaurids continued to live there. They also chose not to migrate to other continents probably because of obstructions like sea.

The Qijianglong now is kept in a museum in Qijiang. “China is home to the ancient myths of dragons,” concluded Miyashita.