Dino Fossils Discovered in Awaji Found to Belong to New Species


Kobe, April 27 (Jiji Press)--Dinosaur fossils discovered on the island of Awaji in Hyogo Prefecture in 2004 belong to a new species, a study by a group of researchers mostly from Japanese universities showed Tuesday.

The new species was named Yamatosaurus izanagii, according to an article published online by British journal Scientific Reports.

The fossil bones of lower jaw, shoulder and other parts were unearthed by Shingo Kishimoto, a 72-year-old local amateur fossil collector, from a stratum formed some 72 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period in the city of Sumoto on Awaji Island in the western prefecture in May 2004.

An early study concluded that the partial skeleton belonged to a species of Lambeosaurinae, a group of dinosaurs under the Hadrosauridae plant-eating family.

But Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, professor at Hokkaido University, and colleagues conducted further analysis and determined that the skeleton was of a new, more primitive Hadrosauridae-family species with estimated length of 7 to 8 meters and weight of 4 to 5 tons.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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