Large Tyrannosaurids existed in Japan

 An image of a Tyrannosaurus -Courtesy of Takumi Yamamoto

An image of a Tyrannosaurus -Courtesy of Takumi Yamamoto

FUKUI (Jiji Press) — Fossilized teeth apparently of a large tyrannosaurid dinosaur have been discovered in Nagasaki, providing the first confirmation that large carnivorous dinosaurs existed in Japan, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum said Tuesday.

The teeth, found in a stratum from the late Cretaceous period, about 81 million years ago, of the Mesozoic era, suggest that the dinosaur had a body estimated to be about 10 meters long, the largest ever for meat-eating dinosaurs whose fossilized remains have been recovered in Japan.

Tyrannosaurid fossil teeth discovered in Nagasaki -Courtesy of Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

Tyrannosaurid fossil teeth discovered in Nagasaki -Courtesy of Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

According to the dinosaur museum, the teeth were discovered on the west coast of the Nagasaki Peninsula in May last year. The museum, with expertise in excavation, conducted research jointly with the city of Nagasaki.

Japan has discovered fossils of dinosaurs belonging to a broader category, which includes Tyrannosaurids, in Fukui and four other prefectures, but those dinosaurs are believed to have been just four to five meters long.

Among large tyrannosaurid dinosaurs are Tyrannosaurus, which lived in North America, and Tarbosaurus, in the Asian continent. With the body length of five to 13 meters, they were bipedal with forelegs much reduced in size. They are believed to have had larger heads than other carnivorous dinosaurs and an extremely powerful bite.

[fsbProduct product_id=’888′ size=’180′ align=’right’]The teeth match the characteristics of the tyrannosaurid family. The larger of the two, apparently from the left side of the lower jaw, is 82 millimeters long, with a 72-millimeter crown. The crown root is up to 38 millimeters wide and 27 millimeters thick. The smaller one, partially damaged, is 78 millimeters long, 37 millimeters wide and 22 millimeters thick.

Fossils of large tyrannosaurid dinosaurs found in North America and Asia typically had teeth over 20 millimeters thick.

Kazunori Miyata, senior researcher at the dinosaur museum, said as the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan used to be part of the Asian continent, links with dinosaurs on the continent would eventually be discovered.

Attribution: The Japan News


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