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'Amazing Dragon' Fossils Unearthed In China
This Dino family emerged 15 mission years earlier than previously known (CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 330)
Aug 20, 2018 Science & Technology
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Roughly 174 million years ago, a long-necked dinosaur roamed the plains of what is now northwest China. The creature, named Lingwulong shenqi, or Lingwu Amazing Dragon - was a member of the sauropod family, a group of dinosaurs that includes the famous Brontosaurus and the largest land animals to walk the earth.

At this time, East Asia was thought to have split from the supercontinent Pangaea. But Lingwulong may be evidence that that was not the case.

The Lingo dinosaur boasted measurements of about 16 metres from head to tail, and it enjoyed a plant-based diet.

Lingwulong appeared exactly where it shouldn't be in northern China, around 15 million years earlier than any other known dinosaurs from this group.

An international team led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Xing Xu has unearthed fossils from eight to 10 individual dinosaurs since launching excavations in 2015.

These fossils have been found in North America, Europe and Eastern Africa, but until now, none were older than 160 million years, and none were found in Asia. The lack of neosauropods in Asia led scientists to conclude that the breakup of Pangaea created a vast sea that stopped Jurassic-era animals from continent-hopping.

Dr Philip Mannion from Imperial College London, an author on the study, described the discovery as doubly unexpected. Not only is it the oldest member [of this group], but it's the first ever from Asia. For a long time it was thought that neosauropods didn't get into Asia during the Jurassic, he told BBC news.

The new discovery suggests that the sauropod line branched off 15 million years earlier than once thought. "We propose that many of the groups that were supposedly absent in China might well have been present, but we simply do not see them there yet because of poor sampling in the fossil record rather than genuine absence," University College London palaeontologist and study co-auther Paul Upchurch commented.

The study was published in Nature Communications.

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a-ma-zing

makes you surprised


adj.惊人

ap-peared

be seen or became noticeable


v.出现

au-thor

a writer of a book or report


n.作者

com-mu-ni-ca-tion

send or receive information


n.通讯

cre-a-ted

bring into being, make


v.创建

crea-ture

an animal, as distinct from a human being


n.生物

di-no-saur

a large reptile that lived millions of years ago


n.恐龙

e-vi-dence

facts that show something is true


n.证据

ex-pec-ted

something seen as likely to happen


v.预期

fa-mous  

well known


adj.著名

fos-sil

what is left behind of a very old life form


n.化石

gen-u-ine

real,true


adj.真正

im-pe-ri-al

of or relating to an empire


adj.皇帝的/帝国的

im-ply

strongly suggest the truth or existence of something


v.意味着/暗示

in-di-vi-dual

single, one


adj.个人/个体

in-ter-na-tion-al

existing between two or more countries


adj.国际

ol-dest

been around for the longest time


adj.最老的

pre-sent

to deliver or put forward something / now, at this point in time


v,n.呈现/现在

 

pub-lished

to put out a book for sale


v.发表

re-cord

the best or most ever measured    


adj.记录

roam

move about without a purpose


v.漫游/漫步

roam-ed

move about, to travel aimlessly


v. 遨游

rough

having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level


adj.粗暴

sau-ro-pod

a very large dinosaur with a long neck and tail, small head and massive limbs


n.蜥脚类恐龙

sci-en-tists

experts in science, people who study science


n.科学家

sup-po-sed-ly

what people think, but may not be true


adv.据说

un-ex-pec-ted

not thought likely to happen


adj.意外

vast

of very great extent or quantity


adj.广大/广阔