Yinlong ‭(‬Hidden dragon‭)

Short Info

Yinlong ‭(‬Hidden dragon‭)

Phonetic : Yin-long.

Named By : Xu Xing et al.‭ ‬-‭ ‬2006

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 1.2 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Ceratopsian

Type Species : Y.‭ ‬downsi‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : China,‭ ‬Xinjiang Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Shishugou Formation

When it Lived : Mid Jurassic, 159-154 million years ago

Yinlong (Yin Long, meaning “hidden dragon”) is an genus belonging to the basal ceratopsian dinosaurs from early in the Late Jurassic Period of central Asia. The dinosaur was small and mostly bipedal herbivore.


Yinlong skullKabacchi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


A group made up of American as well as Chinese paleontologists, comprising Xu Xing, Catherine Forster, Jim Clark, and Mo Jinyou, described and named Yinlong in the year 2006. The name of the generic originates of the Mandarin Chinese words Yin (yin: “hidden”) and Long (long: “dragon”) which refers to the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that a large portion of were shot within the west Chinese Province of Xinjiang close to the location in which the fossils of this animal were found. Long is the term that is frequently used in Chinese media to refer to dinosaurs. The species was named in honor of it’s creator American vertebrate paleontologist William Randall Downs III, an active participant in paleontological expeditions in China who passed away in the year prior to when Yinlong was discovered.

The fossil material that is known from Yinlong comprises a number of skulls and skeletons. The first specimen found was a single extremely well-preserved and preserved skeleton, including skull of an adult animal. It was found in 2004 within the Middle-Late Jurassic strata in the Shishugou Formation located in Xinjiang Province, China. Yinlong was found in an upper section of the formation, which dates back from the Oxfordian phase of the Late Jurassic, or 161.2 to 155.7 million years ago. All other known ceratopsians are found in the latter Cretaceous Period.

Source: Wikipedia