90-mln-year-old fossil bones in China belong to new dinosaur species: paleontologists

(Xinhua) 13:15, January 31, 2024

This photo taken on Jan. 30, 2024 shows fossil bones of Gandititan cavocaudatus found at a construction site in Ganxian District in the city of Ganzhou, east China's Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua/Yuan Huijing)

NANCHANG, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese paleontologists have discovered dinosaur fossil bones dating back 90 million years to the Cretaceous period, believed to be a new species that was later named "Gandititan cavocaudatus."

These bones were found at a construction site in Ganxian District in the city of Ganzhou, east China's Jiangxi Province, in June 2021, said Wang Lingyun, deputy curator of the Jiangxi Geological Museum.

The museum, together with the China University of Geosciences (CUG) (Wuhan) and Jiangxi Geological Survey and Exploration Institute, jointly started conducting restoration and research work later the same year.

The species, a new titanosaurian sauropod, belongs to a giant type of dinosaur called Titanosauria, said Han Fenglu, team leader of the project from CUG (Wuhan) in central China's Hubei Province.

The discovered bones in total account for about 40 percent of a dinosaur's skeleton, which is rare in the world for their integrity and delicacy, said Han.

Among the bones are six articulated cervical vertebrae, two partial dorsal vertebrae, and a complete sacrum preserved in articulation with the first 17 caudal vertebrae and part of the right pelvis.

The well-preserved vertebral column allows an accurate estimation of a total body length of 14 meters, which is relatively small among sauropods, according to Han.

The discovery, published in the latest Journal of Systematic Palaeontology on Jan. 17, is of great significance for studying the evolution and paleogeographic distribution of the species in the Cretaceous period.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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