Pronunciation: nay-MOHN-go-SOR-us Meaning: Nei Mongol lizard Author/s: Zhang, et al. (2001) Synonyms: None known First Discovery: Sanhangobi, China Chart Position: 398
Therizinosaurs are a weird bunch of herbivorous theropods, and each newly discovered species seems to add its unique spin to their, well, weirdness. Neimongosaurus, for example, was only 2-3 meters long but sported fourteen neck vertebrae. Possibly. By their admission, authors Zhang et al. may have counted one too many of these bones. But even with a mere thirteen Neimongosaurus still boasts one of the longest cervical (neck) series ever recorded among non-bird theropods and even puts some sauropods to shame. For comparison, humans have seven neck vertebrae, though giraffes do too, so it's not the number of vertebrae that giveth the long neck but the length of each one.
(Yang's Inner Mongolian lizard)EtymologyNeimongosaurus is derived from "Nei Mongol" (the Chinese name for Inner Mongolia) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet (or specific name), yangi, honors Yang Zhongjian (aka C.C. [Chung Chien] Young) "the founder of vertebrate paleontology in China".
DiscoveryThe remains of Neimongosaurus were discovered in the Iren Dabasu Formation at Sanhangobi, Sunitezuoqi, 20km southwest of Erlian city, Nei Mongol, China, by a Zhang Xiao Hong-led team from the Department of Land and Resources in 1999.
The holotype (LH V0001) is a partial skeleton including a lump of braincase, part of the lower jaw, most of the vertebral column, shoulder bones, a wishbone, bones of the upper and lower arm, a partial hip, both thighs and shins, and most of the left foot. A referred specimen (LH V0008) is a series of fused hip vertebrae (sacrum) attached to the upper pelvic bones (ilia).