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Scientists have identified a new dinosaur species that had one of the longest necks relative to body length ever measured.
A typical neck bone in this creature was about the size of two loaves of bread.
The species, Erketu ellisoni, belongs to the group of massive four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs called Sauropoda, the largest land animals ever to walk on Earth. This giant group also includes Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and the largest of them all, the 120-foot long Argentinasaurus.
E. ellisoni had an extremely elongated neck. A single neck vertebra measures nearly two feet long, longer than the same vertebrae of the much larger Diplodocus carnegii.
"If you compare the index of elongation—how long vertebrae are compared to how long or tall the dinosaur is—to Diplodocus carnegii, [E. ellisoni's] vertebrae are longer, but even more stretched out from front to back," said study co-author Dan Ksepka, a graduate student at Columbia University who studies at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
The species, Erketu ellisoni, belongs to the group of massive four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs