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|Fossils of new dinosaur species unearthed in Ningxia
The photo taken on Aug. 25, 2006 shows a
dinosaur fossil excavation site in Ningdong Town of Lingwu City, northwest
China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. (Xinhua Photo)
YINCHUAN, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Muslim farmer from
the northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region had never thought in his
wildest dream that he could become discoverer of the so-called "national
treasure", excavation of which was televised live to all Chinese people by the
China Central Television (CCTV) on Saturday afternoon.
Ma Yun had been catching hedgehogs on a hill of the
Lingwu City in April 2004, when he came up with a "brown stone", the diameter of
which is some 20 centimeters. He believed that the stone resembled an enormous
"limb of some animal", but none of his acquaintances he dragged to the spot was
convinced, until five months later he contacted the Lingwu Bureau of Cultural
Relics and was told the "stone" could be something more precious: fossil of
"I have guessed that," said the contented farmer, who
was so excited to appear on TV that he cut his long hair.
It was the maiden live broadcast of dinosaur fossil
excavation in China. Fossils of a new dinosaur species were being unearthed in
the Lingwu City of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, while
hundreds of kilometers away in the Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture of
northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Asia's largest
Mamenchisaurus came out of the ground.
"We make this live broadcast because the fossils are
so precious," said Xu Xing, 37-year-old archaeologist and researcher with the
Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences (CAS), who was invited as guest by CCTV.
Eight sauropods, or huge, long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs living in the middle Jurassic period some 160 million years ago, were unearthed in a 3,000-square meter area in Lingwu, said professor Xu.