Longest neck on a dinosaur
Who
Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum
What
15.1 metre(s)
Where
China ()
When

The sauropod species Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum – fossilized bones of which were unearthed in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 1987 – were herbivores with necks that could stretch up to an estimated 15.1 metres (49 ft 6 in). This is about six times longer than the necks of the largest male giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), the longest-necked animals alive today. The species lived about 162 million years ago, during the Late Jurassic period. This research was published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology on 15 March 2023.


This also makes M. sinocanadorum a prime contender to be the all-time record holding animal with the longest neck.

Although working with only limited remains (a few vertebrae, a rib and some bones from the skull), the study drew on the skeleton of a similar sauropod (Xinjiangtitan, found in 2012), which had the longest complete neck ever found for this type of giant dinosaur, comprising 18 cervical vertebrae and measuring at least 13.4 m (43 ft 11.5 in).

It’s hypothesized that the neck of M. sinocanadorum also consisted of 18 vertebrae and would have been held aloft at a fairly slight angle of between 20 and 30 degrees. Despite this, its great length would still have enabled this grazing herbivore to reach vegetation up to 10 m (32 ft 10 in) off the ground.

The research was a collaboration between Stony Brook University (USA), the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Zigong Dinosaur Museum (both China) and the Natural History Museum and University College London (both UK), led by palaeontologist Dr Andrew J Moore.