Scientists Recently Unearthed Additional Remains Of The “Chinese Dragon,” An Aquatic Reptile That Roamed The Earth 240 Million Years Ago, And Were Able To Complete The Entirety Of The Fossil

Its neck reached 7.7 feet and contained 32 separate vertebrae. In comparison, giraffes only have seven neck vertebrae. The reptile also had flippered limbs that indicated it was well-suited for life in the ocean.

Additionally, some of the fish it consumed were still preserved in its belly.

The strange sea creature bore a resemblance to another marine reptile from the Middle Triassic period, the Tanystropheus hydroides, a type of plesiosaur found in regions across Europe and China. They had several skull features in common.

Although the “dragon” was similar in size and appearance to the Loch Ness Monster, the researchers noted that it was not closely related to the long-necked plesiosaurs that inspired the myth.

“We hope that our future research will help us understand more about the evolution of this group of animals, and particularly how the elongated neck functioned,” said Stephan Spiekman, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History.

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