Silk Road Titanosaur Fossils Discovered in Xinjiang

Silk Road titanosaur fossils discovered in Xinjiang
Silk Road titanosaur fossils discovered in Xinjiang

Chinese researchers have discovered for the first time fossils of large giant dinosaurs in the Hami (Dune) pterosaur fauna of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The article on the subject was published in Scientific Reports, an international academic publication affiliated with the journal Nature. According to the information in the journal, 3 dinosaur fossils discovered belong to the sauropod Somphospondyli species. The researchers named the newly discovered dinosaurs the "Chinese Silk Road Titanosaur and Xinjiang Hami Titanosaur."

Since 2006, a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences has conducted scientific expeditions at the Gobi site in Hami and discovered the rare Hami pterosaur fauna. This region has now become the region where the world's largest and most dense pterosaur fossils were found. Hundreds of millions of pterosaurs once lived here.

Despite living at the same time as dinosaurs, the pterosaur fauna is not considered dinosaurs. The head of the discovery team, Wang Xiaolin, stated that the sauropod dinosaur fossils examined are from 130 to 120 million years old and are the first non-pterosaur vertebrate fossils discovered in the Hami pterosaur fauna, and that the locations where the three specimens are found are approximately 2-5 kilometers away.

Due to the erosion of the exposed surface of the fossils, only a portion of the vertebral bodies with fractured surfaces remained in the three specimens. Two of the specimens were named the Chinese Silk Road Titanosaur and the Xinjiang Hami Titanosaur. The total length of the six cervical vertebrae of the Chinese Silk Road Titanosaur is about 3 meters. Researchers estimate that the body length of the Chinese Silk Road Titanosaur was more than 20 meters. In addition, researchers estimate that the body length of the Hami pharaoh was about 17 meters.

Source: China International Radio

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