Dinosaurs may have a new record holder for neck length - at least for now. This is the conclusion of researchers led by Andrew Moore from Stony Brook University in New York, as reported by the British news agency PA. "With a length of 15 meters, it looks like Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum is the record holder - at least until something longer is discovered," the paleontologist is quoted as saying. This corresponds to the length of about six giraffes' necks.
The dinosaur species lived in what is now East Asia and other parts of the world more than 160 million years ago. Fossil remains of the animals were discovered in China in 1987. Although only a small number of bones were found, the researchers have now been able to reconstruct the size and appearance of Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum using complete skeletons of closely related dinosaurs. The extremely long neck made up about half of the total length of the animals. Their skull was very small in relation to their body.
Using computed tomography, the scientists discovered that the giants, like many birds, had hollow vertebrae. The animals also had neck ribs about four meters long, which provided stability - but also made the neck rather immobile. According to assumptions, the dinosaurs could not raise them up like giraffes.
The new findings on the dinosaur have been published in the journal "Journal of Systematic Palaeontology".