SpinoInWonderland's avatar

Yongjinglong datangi skeletal reconstruction (old)

77 37 4K (1 Today)
By SpinoInWonderland   |   
© 2014 - 2020 SpinoInWonderland
NOTE: This reconstruction is defunct and outdated. The newer skeletal reconstruction can be found here.

Yongjinglong datangi (Dragon from Yongjing, of the Tang Dynasty) is a species of titanosauriform sauropodomorph that lived during the Early Cretaceous in what is now China. Its most distinctive feature is its very long shoulder blade, which would have given it a very deep chest in life.

Here is the first Yongjinglong skeletal aside from the one in the description paper itself. This skeletal assumes that the description paper's skeletal is correct regarding the relative positions of the bones.

Most of the vertebrae were crushed, and I had to uncrush them using the relatively intact posterior dorsals as a basis.

The gaps in dorsal vertebra series were filled in with speculative dorsals based on the adjacent vertebrae. The size and number of speculative vertebra filling a gap is based on the amount of space between the preserved dorsals.

The hips, tail, humerus, hindlimbs, feet, and sternal plate were based on Opisthocoelicaudia. The ribs were generic ribs very loosely based on Opisthocoelicaudia.

The neck and the head size are restored using Saltasaurus as a base, and the head is based off that of Nemegtosaurus.

The foreclaws and the gastralia were inferred from Diamantinasaurus and Jobaria respectively, and are represented as generic claws and gastralia.


Hip height: ~2.86 meters

Shoulder height: ~3.26 meters

Total height: ~5.59 meters

Dorsal vertebral series length: ~2.09 meters

Standing length: ~10.74 meters

Torso length: ~3.16 meters

Axial length: ~12.51 meters



Li, L. G.; Li, D. Q.; You, H. L.; Dodson, P. (2014). "A New Titanosaurian Sauropod from the Hekou Group (Lower Cretaceous) of the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin, Gansu Province, China"
M. Borsuk-Bialynicka, 1977, "A new camarasaurid sauropod Opisthocoelicaudia skarzynskii gen. n. sp. n. from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia"
Palaeocritti - Nemegtosaurus
Greg Paul, 2016, "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs"
Some photos of a mounted Opisthocoelicaudia skeleton

UPDATE(6/14/2015): Tweaked the scaling of the skull and the cervicals. Apparently the overly small head came about due to me scaling the Alamosaurus parts to match the length of the Yongjinglong cervical, despite the Yongjinglong cervical having a centrum with a diameter roughly a third greater than the centrum diameter of the corresponding cervical of Lehman & Coulson's Alamosaurus.

I thus adjusted the cervicals to match both length and centrum diameter. The adjusted cervicals ended up too big for the previous skull, so I increased the skull's dimensions by roughly ~33%. The larger head increased standing length to ~15.85 meters from 15.7 meters, and axial length from ~17.86 meters to ~18.01 meters.

The previous version can be found here for comparison and contrast. The head should be closer to normal now.
Still weird overall though.

UPDATE(8/15/2015): Rescaled the bones based on the measurements from Li et al. and rearranged the bones to accommodate the different proportions. The comment by :iconblazze92: prompted me to recheck the paper's scaling, and the scaling in the Li et al. paper turned out to not match it's own measurements.

It ended up quite a bit smaller and more compact, and it managed to get even weirder than before. And while the hindlimbs in the previous versions were huge compared to the forelimbs, this time, it's the other way around...
Previous version for comparison and contrast

Measurements of the previous version, also for comparison and contrast:
~3.68 meters hip height, ~3.6 meters shoulder height, ~3.6 meters dorsal series length, ~15.85 meters standing length, ~4.2 meters torso length, ~18 meters axial length

UPDATE(12/24/2015): Redrew the cervical series based on the adult Alamosaurus cervicals. The hips and hindlimbs rescaled based on the forelimbs rather than the vertebral centra height.
Previous version for comparison and contrast

Measurements for previous version:
~2.26 meters hip height, ~2.7 meters shoulder height, ~5.4 meters total height, ~2.36 meters dorsal series length, ~8.57 meters standing length, ~3.2 meters torso length, axial length unmeasured

UPDATE(12/27/2016): A whole new skeletal, with almost none from the previous versions carried over. The neck and the proportional size of the head is based on Greg Paul's Saltasaurus skeletal GSP Triggered 
Previous version for comparison and contrast

Measurements for previous version: ~2.25 meters hip height, ~2.82 meters shoulder height, ~5.36 meters total height, ~2.36 meters dorsal series length, ~9.5 meters standing length, ~3.2 meters torso length, ~10.9 meters axial length

UPDATE(2/17/2017): Fixed a layering order issue in the cervical-dorsal transition and the dorsals.
Image size
5750x3150px 782.47 KB
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Thalassophoneus's avatar
It seems kinda weird to me that early cretaceous sauropods like Yongjinglong or Dongbeititan would belong to Saltasauridae, the most derived sauropod family.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Titanosauria must have diversified really quickly after the Jurassic-Cretaceous extinction event, it seems.
Thalassophoneus's avatar
But this would mean that Nemegtosaurinae (or Opisthocoelicaudiinae) slowed down a lot with diversification or even stopped, if we assume that Dongbeititan was among their most derived members. So the later species would hafe been dozens of millions of years old by the end of the Cretaceous, like living fossils of their time.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Alternatively, Yongjinglong and Dongbeititan may not have been saltasaurids at all.
Thalassophoneus's avatar
Well, I'm not an expert in classification but I'm quite cautious with them being Saltasaurids.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Dongbeititan was placed as a basal titanosauriform in its original description so there's that I suppose.
paleosir's avatar
paleosirHobbyist General Artist
Approximately 500% less weird now.
Spinosaurus14's avatar
A whole new dinosaur! XD
paleosir's avatar
paleosirHobbyist General Artist
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Yeah, but this skeletal needs an update because of Alamosaurus' phylogenetic position.
paleosir's avatar
paleosirHobbyist General Artist
Ah, makes sense
bricksmashtv's avatar
bricksmashtvHobbyist General Artist
Do you mind if I use this in a paper I'm writing currently? (I'll cite it as your work, of course)
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
This version is outdated due to the new placement of Alamosaurus. You'll be better off working with the original Li et al. figures and measurements.
bLAZZE92's avatar
Did you consider what I suggested of the scapulocoracoid being artificially flattened?

I'm curious as to what you based the proportions on, on average the lengths of the ulna/radius and centra and the measurements of the scapulacorocoid (excluding the length of the scapula) are 84%, 87% and 84% respectively (roughly 85% on average) those of Opisthocoelicaudia so I'm a little intrigued as to why you reconstructed the pelvic girdle just as big, the metacarpals are ~20% bigger but the femur and tibia only ~72% as big.

Also, the neck appears to be short but not unusually small (along with the head) by any chance you didn't take the prezygapophysis of the cervical as a neural spine? it seems you didn't add one to it, it is missing.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
I thought about it and just decided to use the measurement from the paper. I'll need actual confirmation that that bone was flattened. I scaled the whole rear half of this creature based on the dorsal vertebrae.

I just checked the paper, and oops, I did take the prezygapophysis as a neural spine for some reason. Looks like I'll have to redraw it's neck.
bLAZZE92's avatar
The extreme flatness of it makes me think that is really the case but you are right in that Li et al (2014) doesn't say it.

What measurements of the dorsal vertebrae exactly? and if the whole rear is scaled from the same set of bones why each element is scaled differently?
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
I used the centrum height. As for the scaling of each element, I just took them from the skeletal reconstruction in the Opisthocoelicaudia description paper.
bLAZZE92's avatar
I checked that reconstruction, the femur is 120% the length of the ilium and the tibia is 69% its length, fairly close to the measurements given (122% and 71%) but in your reconstruction the percentages are  90% and 50% respectively.

Centrum height seems to be the only centrum measurement where Yongjinglong is bigger than Opisthocoelicaudia but in that case why didn't your rear end turned out 16% bigger than in Opisthocoelicaudia rather than fairly equal pelvis but smaller limbs?
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Seems like I need to revamp this skeletal again.
bLAZZE92's avatar
It's a never ending work haha, I haven't uploaded anything in a while because I keep finding (small by now) mistakes or things that I could improve on the skeletals I have already done, they suck up the time to finish several I have half-done.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
I wonder what half-done skeletals you have there...

BTW, I don't think scaling the pelvis and limbs using the height of the dorsal centra as a base is a good idea anymore. It's gotten a little too weird: i.imgur.com/NFClHQV.png

I'm starting to think that Yongjinglong is just one of those critters with oversized vertebral centra, just like Tyrannosaurus. I'm gonna scale those legs and hips based on dorsal length or the forelimbs this time.
View all replies
theropod1's avatar
theropod1Student Traditional Artist
This may be the weirdest sauropod there is…
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Yeah, even critters like Isisaurus don't even come close!
bLAZZE92's avatar
I've been thinking that the rear end in your reconstruction is way too big but the relative scaling matched figure 17 in Li et al. (2014) so I couldn't pin point what exactly could be wrong until I decided to check if the scaling in said reconstruction was accurate to begin with and to my surprise it isn't, If we take the ulna as reference and scale from there we find that the scapulocoracoid is 238cm rather 188cm, 27% too big, likewise the vertebre are ~40% too big and at least 60% too big in the case of the lone cervical.

Now, I've been wondering if the scapulocoracoid is flattened due to taphonomic processes, it is remarkably straight, the straight length being 97% of the length along the curvature, compare that with 80% in Opisthocoelicaudia, if we assume it is flattened then a corrected straight length would be around ~155cm, 2.6 times longer than the ulna, rather than 4x as shown in figure 17 or your reconstruction.
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In