Dongyang Museum

Dongyang, China

Dongyang Museum

Dongyang, China

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News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A dinosaur fossil that almost went undiscovered is giving scientists valuable clues about a family of creatures that flourished just before the mass extinction. The bird-like species, found at a building site in southern China and nicknamed the 'Mud Dragon', was preserved almost intact, lying on its front with its wings and neck outstretched. Scientists speculate that the creature may have died in this pose after becoming mired in mud about 66-72 million years ago. Scientists have named the new species Tongtianlong limosus, meaning 'muddy dragon on the road to heaven'. The two-legged animal belongs to a family of feathered dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs, characterised by having short, toothless heads and sharp beaks. Some, including the newly found species, had crests of bone on their heads that were probably used as display structures to attract mates and intimidate rivals, like modern-day cassowaries. Fossil discoveries in recent decades suggest that this group of flightless animals was experiencing a population boost, diversifying into new species, during the 15 million years before the dinosaurs went extinct. The group was probably one of the last groups of dinosaurs to diversify before the asteroid impact 66 million years ago, which killed off all of the non-bird dinosaurs. The skeleton was found during excavations using explosives at a school construction site near Ganzhou. The fossil remains remarkably well preserved and almost complete, despite some harm caused by a dynamite blast at the construction site. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and China, who carried out the study, say the finding helps better understand how the last-surviving dinosaurs were flourishing before tragedy struck. The study, published in Scientific Reports, was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the Dongyang Museum, China, and is the latest in a fruitful collaboration between Edinburgh and the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. It was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, the EU Erasmus Mundus Experts Sustain Program and a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant. Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "This new dinosaur is one of the most beautiful, but saddest, fossils I've ever seen. But we're lucky that the 'Mud Dragon' got stuck in the muck, because its skeleton is one of the best examples of a dinosaur that was flourishing during those final few million years before the asteroid came down and changed the world in an instant." Dr Junchang Lü, of the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, said: "The discovery of the new oviraptorid dinosaur further indicates that the Ganzhou area of Southern China is a most productive locality of oviraptorid dinosaurs and has a huge diversity of oviraptorosaurs from the late Cretaceous. It will provide important information on the study of evolution, distribution and behaviour of oviraptorid dinosaurs."


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

A dinosaur fossil that almost went undiscovered is giving scientists valuable clues about a family of creatures that flourished just before the mass extinction. The bird-like species, found at a building site in southern China and nicknamed the 'Mud Dragon', was preserved almost intact, lying on its front with its wings and neck outstretched. Scientists speculate that the creature may have died in this pose after becoming mired in mud about 66-72 million years ago. Scientists have named the new species Tongtianlong limosus, meaning 'muddy dragon on the road to heaven'. The two-legged animal belongs to a family of feathered dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs, characterised by having short, toothless heads and sharp beaks. Some, including the newly found species, had crests of bone on their heads that were probably used as display structures to attract mates and intimidate rivals, like modern-day cassowaries. Fossil discoveries in recent decades suggest that this group of flightless animals was experiencing a population boost, diversifying into new species, during the 15 million years before the dinosaurs went extinct. The group was probably one of the last groups of dinosaurs to diversify before the asteroid impact 66 million years ago, which killed off all of the non-bird dinosaurs. The skeleton was found during excavations using explosives at a school construction site near Ganzhou. The fossil remains remarkably well preserved and almost complete, despite some harm caused by a dynamite blast at the construction site. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and China, who carried out the study, say the finding helps better understand how the last-surviving dinosaurs were flourishing before tragedy struck. The study, published in Scientific Reports, was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the Dongyang Museum, China, and is the latest in a fruitful collaboration between Edinburgh and the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. It was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, the EU Erasmus Mundus Experts Sustain Program and a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant. Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "This new dinosaur is one of the most beautiful, but saddest, fossils I've ever seen. But we're lucky that the 'Mud Dragon' got stuck in the muck, because its skeleton is one of the best examples of a dinosaur that was flourishing during those final few million years before the asteroid came down and changed the world in an instant." Dr Junchang Lü, of the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, said: "The discovery of the new oviraptorid dinosaur further indicates that the Ganzhou area of Southern China is a most productive locality of oviraptorid dinosaurs and has a huge diversity of oviraptorosaurs from the late Cretaceous. It will provide important information on the study of evolution, distribution and behaviour of oviraptorid dinosaurs."


Chen R.,Dongyang Museum | Zheng W.,Zhejiang Museum of Natural History | Azuma Y.,Zhejiang Museum of Natural History | Shibata M.,Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum | And 3 more authors.
Acta Geologica Sinica | Year: 2013

Dongyangopelta yangyanensis gen. et sp. nov. from the Chaochuan Formation (Albian - Cenomanian) of Dongyang, Zhejiang Province, China is characterized: the convex anterior surface of the first presacral rod centrum strongly inflates laterally and sUghtly curves posteriorly; the fused pelvic shield composes of larger pebble-shaped bosses, defined by smaller tubercles or flat stretches of bone; most osteoderms are heavily roughened with notches and grooves for dermal attachment along the edge; domed triradiate osteoderm is present; sigmoid curvature of the dorsal surface of the ilium is present; the preacetabular process curves lateroventrally at the anterior end and has a shallow groove in the edge of the lateral and anterior ends and strong lateromedial expansion of the distal femur. The femoral head is well separated from the greater trochanter, indicating that Dongyangopelta is a nodosaurid ankylosaur, the second from southeast China. Phylogenetic analysis also positions this taxon in the Nodosauridae clade. Dongyangopelta differs from Zhejiangosaurus in the characters of presacral rod, ilium, and femur. Dongyangopelta represents the first ankylosaur outside North America and Europe that definitively possesses a pelvic shield with fused armor.


Azuma Y.,Zhejiang Museum of Natural History | Azuma Y.,Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences | Lu J.,Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences | Jin X.,Zhejiang Museum of Natural History | And 4 more authors.
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2013

A new Cretaceous bird ichnotaxon, Dongyangornipes sinensis ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov., is described. It is the first record of a webbed bird footprint in China. It was recovered from the early Late Cretaceous Jinhua Formation in Dongyang City, Zhejiang Province. It is characterized by comparatively small tridactyl footprints with a notably developed web structure without a hallux impression. The web impression of digits II-III is connected from the apex of digit II to the posterior third of digit III, whereas that between digits III and IV is linked from the apex of digit IV to the mid-point of digit III. Webbed footprints of Cretaceous birds have not been described previously from outside South Korea. Shorebird footprints without webbing, referred to Koreanaornis cf. hamanensis, are also present at the same site. The Dongyang bird footprint site is the southernmost locality of Mesozoic bird track sites in Asia. © 2012.


Chen R.-J.,Dongyang Museum | Lu J.-C.,Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences | Zhu Y.-X.,Dongyang Museum | Azuma Y.,Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Geological Bulletin of China | Year: 2013

A new pterosaur ichnotaxon, Pteraichnus dongyangensis inchnosp. nov., is proposed for the discovery of four pterosaur tracks from the Jinhua Formation of Dongyang City, Zhejiang Province of China. It is characterized by manus imprints with 29° of divarication of digits II and III and that of the digits I and II is 52°. Ratio of width to length of the pes imprint is 0.17. With pterosaur, sauropod, theropod and ornithopod footprints, webbed and non-webbed bird footprints are also found from the same quarry. These footprints will provide important evidence for the study of the paleoenvironments and the discovery of the bone elements of these footprint-makers, especially the pterosaur skeletons in the near future.

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