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An artist's rendering of Lingwulong shenqi. Credit: Zhang Zongda

Newly excavated 174-million-year-old fossils in northwest China are a new dinosaur species named Lingwulong shenqi — or "amazing dragon of Lingwu" — that roamed the supercontinent of Pangea, a new study found.

The big picture: The study, published this week in Nature Communications, details the oldest diplodocoid — massive sauropod dinosaurs with long necks and tails — ever found. It also pushes back estimates of their evolution by 15 million years.

The study raises more questions than it answers, however. For example, lead researcher Xu Xing said in a statement that these types of dinosaurs "were thought to have never made it to East Asia because this region was cut off from the rest of the world by Jurassic seaways." But the new "amazing dragon" shows that they were present after all, and suggests that "the isolation of East Asia was less profound" than previously thought.

According to the study, there were between seven and 10 Linwulong dinosaurs found at the site, and they all died near one another, leading researchers to believe they were herd animals. The longest was about 57 feet long.

The study says these dinosaurs likely ate hefty vegetarian diets of conifers and ferns. They had peg-like teeth and may have grazed on lower vegetation in what at the time was a warm and wet environment.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."