ZHENGZHOU, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Scientists in central
China's Henan Province announced on Tuesday that they had unearthed fossils of
the heaviest dinosaur in Asia.
The fossils were discovered in an area between Santun
township and Liudian township in Ruyang county, and the dinosaur, which hasan
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 department.
The dinosaur measures 18 meters long and its sacrum -
part of the vertebrae in the lower back - is as broad as 1.31 meters, 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.
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 sauropoda 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 30
scientists from China and the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan, Wu
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
Paleontology and Palaeoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of