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Guanlong
Fossil range: Late Jurassic
Guanlong BW
Scientific classification

Class:

Sauropsida

Superorder:

Dinosauria

Order:

Saurischia

Superfamily:

Tyrannosauroidea

Genus:

Guanlong
<large>Xu et al., 2006</large>

Species:

  • G. wucaii
    <large>Xu et al., 2006 (type)</large>
Guanlong wucaii head

Head

Guanlong wucaii ("crown Long of Wucai") is an extinct genus of tyrannosauroid dinosaur, one of the earliest known examples of the lineage. About 3.0 metres (9.8 ft) long,[1] it lived 160 million years ago in the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic period, 92 million years before its well-known relative Tyrannosaurus. This bipedal saurischian theropod shared many traits with its descendants, and also had some unusual ones, like a large crest on its head. Unlike later tyrannosaurs, Guanlong had three long fingers on its hands. Aside from its distinctive crest, it would have resembled its close relative Dilong, and like Dilong may have had a coat of primitive feathers.

Description[]

About 3 meters (9.8 feet), its fossils were found in the Shishugou Formation dating to about 160 million years ago, in the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic period, 92 million years before its well-known relative Tyrannosaurus. This bipedal saurischian theropod shared many traits with its descendants, and also had some unusual ones, like a large crest on its head. Unlike later tyrannosaurs, Guanlong had three long fingers on its hands. Aside from its distinctive crest, it would have resembled its close relative Dilong, and like Dilong may have had a coat of primitive feathers.

Discovery[]

Guanlong was discovered in the Dzungaria area of China by scientists from George Washington University, and named by Xu Xing in 2006. Guanlong(冠龍) written with the Chinese characters for crown(冠) referring to the crest, and Long(龍), the Chinese's most sacred animal. The second part of it's name, wucaii comes from wucai (五彩), means "five colors" and refers to the colors of rock of the Wucaiwan, the multi-hued badlands where the creature was found.

Specimens[]

At present, Guanlong is known from two specimens. The holotype (IVPP V14531) is a reasonably complete, partially articulated adult skeleton. Another, immature specimen is known from fully articulated and nearly complete remains. The crest on the skull of the immature specimen is notably smaller and restricted to the forward portion of the snout, while the adult has a larger and more extensive crest (as pictured in this article). The crests of both specimens are thin, delicate structures that likely served as display organs.

Classification[]

References[]

  1. ^ Holtz, Thomas R. Jr. (2008) Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages Supplementary Information
  • Xu X., Clark, J.M., Forster, C. A., Norell, M.A., Erickson, G.M., Eberth, D.A., Jia, C., and Zhao, Q. (2006). "A basal tyrannosauroid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of China". Nature 439: 715–718. doi:10.1038/nature04511. 

External links[]

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