Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 161.2–155.2 Ma
Zuolong skeletal.png
Skeletal diagram of known material in white and light grey
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Clade: Coelurosauria
Genus: Zuolong
Choiniere et al., 2010
Z. salleei
Binomial name
Zuolong salleei
Choiniere et al., 2010

Zuolong (Zuo's dragon) is a genus of coelurosaur dinosaur which existed in what is now Wucaiwan, Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China during the Late Jurassic period (lower Oxfordian stage, around 160 mya).[1]


Life restoration

The holotype fossil of Zuolong, IVPP V15912, a partial skeleton with skull, was discovered in 2001 in China, in the upper part of the Shishugou Formation of Xinjiang. It was a subadult animal which measured approximately 3.1 metres (10 ft) in length and weighed up to approximately 35 kilograms (77 lb). Zuolong was named by Jonah N. Choiniere, James M. Clark, Catherine A. Forster and Xu Xing in 2010, and the type species is Zuolong salleei. The generic name honours General Zuo Zongtang, who secured Xinjiang for China in the nineteenth century. The specific name honours Hilmar Sallee, whose bequest helped finance the research.[1] The specific age for the holotype specimen is 161.2 to 155.2 million years ago. The holotype is considered by Thomas R. Holtz Jr. to be from almost certainly a juvenile theropod.[2]


In 2016, Gregory S. Paul estimated the length of Zuolong at 3 metres (9.8 ft), and its weight at 60 kilogrammes.[3] The specimen is probably from a juvenile animal, and is quite complete.[2]


Zuolong is a primitive coelurosaurian, possibly the most primitive known.[2]


  1. ^ a b Jonah N. Choiniere, James M. Clark, Catherine A. Forster and Xing Xu (2010). "A basal coelurosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) of the Shishugou Formation in Wucaiwan, People's Republic of China". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (6): 1773–1796. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.520779.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c Holtz, T.R. Jr. (2012). Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages. Random House. pp. 367–444. ISBN 978-0-375-82419-7.
  3. ^ Paul, G.S., 2016, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, second edition, Princeton University Press p. 120