Tongtianlong

Name: Tongtianlong ‭(‬Tongtianyan dragon‭)‬.
Phonetic: Tong-te-an-long.
Named By: J.‭ ‬Lü,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Chen,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Brusatte,‭ ‬Y.‭ ‬Zhu‭ & ‬C.‭ ‬Shen‭ ‬-‭ ‬2016.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Threropoda,‭ ‬Oviraptoridae.
Species: T.‭ ‬limosus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain.
Size: Skull roughly about‭ ‬13‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Jiangxi Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Nanxiong Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and partial post cranial skeleton.




       Tongtianlong was discovered when blasting of a mudstone deposit revealed the skeleton of this dinosaur for the first time since the Cretaceous.‭ ‬Unfortunately this blasting process destroyed some of the skeleton,‭ ‬but fortunately when workers at the site realised what was there,‭ ‬they halted operations long enough to recover the specimen.‭ ‬This included a skull and a significant portion of the post cranial skeleton.
       Tongtianlong was a smaller oviraptorid dinosaur,‭ ‬and at the time of its naming,‭ ‬the sixth distinct genus of oviraptorid dinosaur discovered from the Nanxiong Formation of China.‭ ‬Tongtianlong primarily stands apart from these others by the shape of its skull,‭ ‬with the rear portion behind and above the eyes rising into a dome-like structure.‭ ‬The number of distinct oviraptorid dinosaur genera suggests that these dinosaurs filled different niches in the ecosystems.‭ ‬Aside from Tongtianlong,‭ ‬other ovipatorid dinosaur genera from this formation include Ganzhousaurus,‭ ‬Banji,‭ ‬Jiangxisaurus,‭ ‬Huanansaurus and Nankangia.
       The holotype specimen‭ (‬remains of first discovered individual‭) ‬of Tongtianlong is noted for being discovered with arms splayed out to the sides and the head raised up.‭ ‬This pose and the fact the holotype specimen has discovered in mudstone‭ (‬sedimentary rock formed by the long-time compression of mud‭) ‬suggests that this individual dinosaur had become trapped in a mud deposit,‭ ‬and died while trying to free itself.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs:‭ ‬evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Scientific Reports‭ ‬6:35780:1-12‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Lü,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Chen,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Brusatte,‭ ‬Y.‭ ‬Zhu‭ & ‬C.‭ ‬Shen‭ ‬-‭ ‬2016.



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