September 5, 2018
Mukawa, Hokkaido- Announcing the completion of time-consuming work to "clean" fossils, a research team in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido unveiled on Tuesday what they claim to be the largest skeleton of a whole dinosaur in Japan.
Through the work to remove rocks and sediments in which fossils were embedded, a total of 157 pieces were identified as bones of a large herbivorous dinosaur from the Hadrosaurid family, according to the team comprising curators of the Hobetsu Museum in Mukawa, a town in Hokkaido, and Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, associate professor at the Hokkaido University Museum.
The bones account for about 60 pct of the skeleton of the dinosaur, which is called "Mukawa-ryu" as the fossils were discovered in a 72-million-year-old sedimentary layer in Mukawa, a town in Hokkaido, according to the team.
"Such a complete dinosaur skeleton has never been seen in Japan," Kobayashi said. "It's the greatest discovery in Japan's (dinosaur) research history."
After the first set of fossil bones of the dinosaur were discovered by a resident of Mukawa in 2003, they were initially thought to be those of a marine reptile. But the team later found more fossils in a follow-through research and has finally identified them as bones of a dinosaur weighing an estimated 7 tons with a body length of over 8 meters.
Given its bone features, the dinosaur is highly likely to be a new species, according to Kobayashi.
Stressing that a world-class dinosaur skeleton was discovered, Kobayashi said, "We'll work to announce the significance of Mukawa-ryu."
The skeleton is scheduled to be exhibited at the town's Hobetsu community center on Oct. 6-7 and "Mukawa Shikio no Yakata" roadside rest facility on Oct. 27-28. Jiji Press
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