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DILONG

a meat-eating tyrannosauroid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.
dilong.png
Pronunciation: DEE-long
Meaning: Emperor dragon
Author/s: Xu et al. (2004)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Liaoning, China
Chart Position: 452

Dilong paradoxus

Upon discovery, Dilong was the oldest known unquestionable tyrannosauroid. It was one of the most complete early "tyrant lizards" too, and one with a plethora of unusual features, the most newsworthy of which was the first direct fossil evidence that tyrannosauroids were feathered. They weren't like the feathers you would find on modern birds, but bristly fibres or "proto-feathers", and they covered its entire body.

Typical of early tyrannosauroids — the coelurosaurian dinosaur lineage that culminated in the Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid, Tyrannosaurus rexDilong is small and gracile with a long and shallow snout and relatively long arms with three-fingered hands. Unlike the larger and more advanced tyrannosaurids, its bones are less aero-textured, and its pelvic bone is less robust but ends with an enormous bony boot. The hindlimb proportions suggest Dilong was a decent runner, but it wasn't as fast as similar-sized tyrannosauroids because it had shorter lower legs.

In a 2014 study, Dilong paradoxus, along with Proceratosaurus bradleyi, Kileskus aristotocus, Guanlong wucaii, Sinotyrannus kazuoensis, Juratyrant langhami and Stokesosaurus clevelandi, was found to be a proceratosaurid tyrannosauroid.

(Emperor dragon with suprising features)Etymology
Dilong is derived from the Chinese "di" (emperor) referring to this animals relationship to Tyrannosaurus rex, the "king" of the tyrant lizards, and "long" (dragon) which is assigned to Chinese dinosaurs the same way as the Greek "sauros" is in the West.
The species epithet, paradoxus, is derived from the Ancient Greek "paradoxos" (contrary to expectation) and refers to its unusual features.
Discovery
The first fossils of Dilong were discovered in the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation near Lujiatun Village, Beipiao, western Liaoning province, China. The holotype (IVPP 14243, housed at Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology) is a semi-articulated skeleton and an almost complete skull. Referred specimens include IVPP 1242 (a nearly complete skull and presacral vertebrae) and TNP01109 (a partial skull). Another skull (IVPP V11579) may belong here or to a closely related species.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 130-122 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1.6 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.9 meters
Est. max. weight: 16 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Xu, X., Norell, M. A., Kuang, X., Wang, X., Zhao, Q., Jia, C. (2004) "Basal tyrannosauroids from China and evidence for protofeathers in tyrannosauroids". Nature | Vol. 431 | 7 October 2004.
• John Long and Peter Schouten (2009) "Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds".
• J.D. Porfiri, F.E. Novas, J.O. Calvo, F.L. Agnolín, M.D. Ezcurra and I.A. Cerda (2014) "Juvenile specimen of Megaraptor (Dinosauria, Theropoda) sheds light about tyrannosauroid radiation". Cretaceous Research 51:35–55.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DILONG :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Sep 2017.
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