Qiaowanlong (Qiaowan dragon)
You & Li – 2009
Estimated 9-10 meters long
Q. kangxii (type)
China, Gansu, Yujinzi Basin
Late Jurassic, 160 million years ago
Qiaowanlong, meaning “Qiaowan dragon,” is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived in what is now China during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 160 million years ago. It was first described in 2008, based on a partial skeleton that was discovered in Yunnan Province.
Qiaowanlong was a relatively small sauropod, estimated to have been around 9-10 meters (30-33 feet) long and weighing up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds). It belonged to the family Euhelopodidae, which includes a diverse group of sauropods that lived in Asia during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
One of the most distinctive features of Qiaowanlong was its neck, which was relatively short and robust compared to other euhelopodids. It had 13 vertebrae in its neck, which is fewer than most other sauropods of similar size. This suggests that Qiaowanlong may have had a specialized feeding behavior, perhaps foraging on tough vegetation that required a more powerful bite.
The discovery of Qiaowanlong is significant because it adds to our understanding of the diversity and evolution of sauropod dinosaurs in Asia during the Jurassic period. It also underscores the importance of continued paleontological research in China, which has become a leading center for dinosaur discoveries in recent years.
Overall, Qiaowanlong is a fascinating example of the many different types of dinosaurs that once roamed the earth, and its discovery highlights the ongoing quest to uncover the secrets of the prehistoric past.