Scientists in Japan unearth 72-million-year-old Fossil of the largest complete Dinosaur Skeleton

The latest discovery marks just the third time a Hadrosaurid fossil has been recovered from marine deposits

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Dinosaur Skeleton
Scientists in Japan have unearthed fossils of the duck-billed dinosaur species, Wikimedia
  • The discovered bones belong to a certain specimen of a duck-billed dinosaur
  • The latest discovery marks just the third time a Hadrosaurid fossil has been recovered from marine deposits
  • The exact species of the newly discovered dinosaur is still unknown, but scientists have decided to name the dino as “Mukawaryu

Japan, June 6, 2017:  Scientists in Japan have unearthed the record-breaking 72-million-year-old fossil of the largest complete dinosaur skeleton of the island nation in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

The discovered bones belong to a certain specimen of a duck-billed dinosaur. Paleontologists from Hokkaido University and Hobetsu Museum in Mukawa have been indulged in the excavation of the skeleton since 2013.

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Other such fossils of the duck-billed dinosaur species, or Hadrosaurus, have been discovered in Eurasia, North America, South America, and Antarctica. According to available information about the species, The herbivores roamed the earth during the Late Cretaceous Period, between 100 million and 66 million years ago.

According to UPI reports, the latest discovery marks just the third time a Hadrosaurid fossil has been recovered from marine deposits. It is notably rare for a complete skeleton to be discovered in marine strata. Any fossil skeleton with more than 50 percent of the specimen’s bones intact is considered to be a complete skeleton.

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The exact species of the newly discovered dinosaur is still unknown, but scientists have decided to name the dino as “Mukawaryu,” Japanese for Mukawa dragon.

In a news release, lead researcher Yoshitsugu Kobayashi said,  “We first discovered a part of the fossilized Mukawaryu skeleton in 2013, and after a series of excavations, we believe we have cleaned more than half of the bones the dinosaur had, making it clear that it is a complete skeleton.”

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The main Hadrosaurid family tree can be divided into two distinct groups- species with a crest belong to Lambeosaurinae, uncrested species belong to Hadrosaurinae.

Kobayashi also stated that although Mukawaryu bears some characteristics of both groups, the preliminary analysis indicated it might belong to the Hadrosaurinae. Which group the Mukawaryu skeleton belongs to will surely be cleared by further cleaning of the fossils and detailed research.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang