Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New Iguanodontid From China

From an article in the Chinese People’s Daily On-Line comes a report of a new dinosaur (I’ve tried to clean up the transliterated english):

Chinese geologists have discovered a new iguanodontid dinosaur in Lanzhou Basin in China's northwest Gansu Province. The new dinosaur, named Lanzhoumagniden, is a kind of plant-eating dinosaur with huge teeth, with the single biggest tooth being 14 cm long and 7.5 cm wide, the biggest known in the world, said Dr. Li Daqing, a research fellow with the No. 3 Geology and Minerals Prospecting Institute of the Gansu Provincial Geology and Minerals Bureau.

Lanzhoumagniden is closely linked to Lurdusaurus arenatus of the early Cretaceous period discovered in Africa.

The dinosaur's lower jaw is one meter long, with 14 tooth slots on each side and a single tooth slot is four cm wide. Judging from its huge jaw and ribs, Li and his colleagues estimated the dinosaur to be 10 meters long and 4.2 meters high, weighing 5,500 kilograms and walking on four feet and sometimes on two feet.

Li and his colleagues first discovered a three-toed footprint of a dinosaur at the Liujiaxia of Yongjing County in 1999 and found a series of footprints of dinosaur in the region later. In the following two years, Li and his excavation team began exposing fossilized footprints of dinosaurs, uncovering about 1,500 square meters of dinosaur footprints.

To further uncover the relationship between the footprints and dinosaurs, Chinese geologists carried out a survey of fossilized dinosaur skeletons in the Lanzhou Basin, dozens of kilometers away from Liujiaxia, where the footprints were found, and in the process discovered the new dinosaur.

A research report on the dinosaur by Li and experts with the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been published on the English version of the Geological Bulletin of China in September.

Image from HERE.