Scientists have revealed a new, remarkably complete fossil – a 16ft (5m)-long aquatic reptile from the Triassic period.

A new fossil of Dinocephalosaurus orientalis, a 240 million-year-old prehistoric creature, has been discovered in ancient limestone deposits in southern China. The fossil, dubbed a “dragon” due to its long neck, was discovered for the first time. The fossil, discovered in ancient limestone deposits, was part of an international team led by Dr. Nick Fraser from National Museums Scotland. Fraser speculated that the long, bendy, and flexible neck, with its 32 separate vertebrae, might have provided a hunting advantage, allowing Dinocephalosaurus orientalis to search for food in crevices under the water.

The paper describing a set of new fossils of the animal is published in the journal Earth and Environmental Science: Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.