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XIONGGUANLONG

a meat-eating tyrannosauroid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.
xiongguanlong.png
Pronunciation: shong-GWAN-long
Meaning: Jiayuguan Dragon
Author/s: Li et al. (2009)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Gansu, China
Chart Position: 562

Xiongguanlong baimoensis

Enigmatic things, tyrannosauroids, from an evolutionary point of view. We know the middle Early Cretaceous forms such as the small, fuzzy, long-armed Dilong, and we know the latest Late Cretaceous forms like the bone-crunching, short armed, giant Tyrannosaurus. What we didn't know, as of 2008, is much of what went on inbetween. Fortunately, we now know Xiongguanlong from the middlest Middle Cretaceous of China—the most complete tyrannosauroid from the entire Barremian-Campanian period, no less—which shed a little much-needed light on one of the the missing chapters of "tyrant lizard" evolution.

Xiongguanlong is similarly slender, fuzzy and long-armed but somewhat bigger than the oldest (smallest) tyrannosauroids, but somewhat smaller than the large-skulled, robust-jawed and short-armed latest (largest) tyrannosauroids, though it does mark the earliest appearance of some of the latter's hallmarks. A short, broad braincase, broad bony struts near the temples and expanded areas for jaw muscle attachment on the skull roof all represent structural modifications for increased bite force, combined with expanded structures on its vertebrae to support a large head. Funnily enough, Xinguanlong had a large head thanks mainly to a stupendously slender, long, smooth snout that accounted for two thirds of its skull's length, and its teeth were blade-like rather than conical so tyrannosauroids weren't crunching bones just yet.
(Dragon of the Grand Pass)Etymology
Xiongguanlong is derived from the Mandarin "Xiong Guan" (Grand Pass), an old name for the nearby city of Jiayuguan (the western start point of the 8,850-km-long Ming Dynasty "Great Wall of China"), and "long" (dragon).
The species epithet, baimoensis (by-mo-EN-sis), is derived from "bai mo" (White ghost), referring to a prominent feature in the area known as "White Ghost Castle", and the Latin "-ensis" (from).
Discovery
The remains of Xiongguanlong were discovered in the White Ghost Castle field area, Xinminbao Group, Yujingzi Basin, Gansu, China in 2005.
The holotype (FRDC-GS JB16-2-1) consists of a complete skull minus the lower jaw, some vertebrae, a partial hip bone (ilium) and a right thigh bone (femur).
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian-Albian
Age range: 125-100 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 4 meters
Est. max. hip height: 1.3 meters
Est. max. weight: 275 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Li D, MA Norell, K-Q Gao, ND Smith, PJ Makovicky (2009) "A longirostrine tyrannosauroid from the Early Cretaceous of China". Proc. R. Soc. B, Vol. 277, Iss. 1679, pp 183-190. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0249.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "XIONGGUANLONG :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Feb 2018.
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