ULAN BATOR, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian government would build a large dinosaur fossil museum in the first half of this year to boost tourism, an official said Tuesday.
Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Tsedevdamba Oyungerel said the planned museum was also aimed at effectively protecting, developing and utilizing the country's abundant dinosaur fossil resources.
At present, the Paleontology Center of the Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Natural History each had more than 200 items of dinosaur fossils in store, he said.
Another 120-plus fossils smuggled to European and Asian countries would be returned to Mongolia, he said, adding that "tyrannosaurus bataar" fossils smuggled to the United States would also be returned and exhibited in the museum.
Tyrannosaurus bataar is a genus of carnivorous dinosaur in the Tyrannosaurus family, and is believed to flourish in Asia between 70 million and 65 million years ago, at the end of Late Cretaceous Period.
Mongolian dinosaur fossils have been discovered mainly in the south, center and eastern Gobi desert. Since 1922, many genera of Cretaceous dinosaur fossils have been found in the Gobi, including protoceratops and oviraptors.