Dinosaurs

"Amazing dragon" dinosaur discovery in China alters species' timeline

An artist's rendering of new dinosaur Lingwulong shenqi
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.

New dinosaur discovery highlights fake fossil concerns

Visitors to the American Museum of Natural History examining a replica of a 122-foot-long dinosaur on display.
Visitors to the American Museum of Natural History examining a replica of a 122-foot-long dinosaur on display. Photo: Mary Altaffer / AP

The distinction between authentic and fake dinosaur fossiles is similar to that of artwork: sometimes blatantly obvious, and other times apparent to only experts. Some are questioning whether a fossil of a new dinosaur called Halszkaraptor— with "a bill like a duck but teeth like a croc's, a swanlike neck and killer claws," according to the AP — is real.

Why it's happening: There's a large market for fossils, which has led people "trying to earn a buck" to forge them for cash, Ed Yong writes at the Atlantic.

More stories loading.