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Fossils of unknown dinosaur found in Thailand

Kyodo

Fossils of a dinosaur discovered in Thailand from layers of earth dating back some 120 million years have been found to be those of an unknown species of iguanodon, a Japanese university said Friday.

The new dinosaur, believed to be 6 meters tall, has been given the scientific name of “Sirindhorna khoratensis” after Thailand’s Princess Sirindhorn.

A group of Japanese and Thai researchers conducted joint research on the skull, jawbone, cheekbone and other fossils unearthed between 2006 and 2012 in northeastern Thailand.

Iguanodon is a herbivorous dinosaur that thrived mainly in the Cretaceous Period (dating back 145 million to 66 million years).

It initially lived in Europe and North America and is thought to have expanded its habitat range to include Asia in the Early Cretaceous historical period.

Masateru Shibata, a researcher at Fukui Prefectural University’s Dinosaurs Research Institute, said fossils of iguanodons from the Early Cretaceous Period have been found in Japan as well.

The latest finding in Thailand is “valuable as it shows iguanodons lived in a wide area of Asia,” he said.

The fossils of Sirindhorna khoratensis will be on display at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in central Japan from Jan. 30. A thesis on the discovery has been posted on PLOS ONE, a U.S. online scientific journal.