Scientists in central China's Henan Province announced on
Tuesday that they had unearthed fossils of the heaviest dinosaur in
The fossils were discovered in an area between Santun township
and Liudian township in Ruyang county, and the dinosaur, which has
an unusually large coelom, the body cavity that contains the
digestive tract, has been identified as Asia's heaviest, said Wu Guochang, general engineer of the provincial land resources
The dinosaur measures 18 metres long and its sacrum, part of the
vertebrae in the lower back, is as broad as 1.31 metres, making it
broader than that of the dinosaur fossil unearthed in Gansu last
year, which was then identified as Asia's heaviest dinosaur, said
Wu said scientists had thought the land where the fossils were
excavated was formed in the Cenozoic Era, which dates back 65
million years, and that the former existence of dinosaurs was not
possible, but local residents kept on digging up what they called
"dragon's bones" to use as traditional Chinese medicine.
Scientists studied the "dragon's bones" and identified them as
fossils of dinosaurs that lived between 85 to 100 million years ago
in the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic Era.
The dinosaur was a vegetarian sauropod and the fossils were
well preserved, Wu said.
Scientists from the Henan provincial geological museum and the
Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences spent two years unearthing
and researching the fossils and their findings have been assessed by
thirty scientists from China and the United States, Britain, Germany and
Japan, Wu said.
The discovery is very important for research into the geological
distribution, migration and evolvement of this particular species of
dinosaur, said Dong Zhiming, a scientist from the Institute of
Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology under the Chinese
Academy of Sciences.