A fossil discovered on the southern coast of Japan in 2004 enabled a new species to be written into the Hardosaur family today. The new species, named Yamatosaurus izanagii, also provided some important information to the scientific world.
It has been announced that a new species belonging to the Hardosaur dinosaur family has been discovered in Japan. However, according to information from Japan, the new species has very different characteristics and evolutionary process.
A New Type of Dinosaur Discovered
As the calendars show the year 2004, a dinosaur remains were discovered on a small island off the south coast of Japan. Studies on this fossil, which is determined to belong to the Hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) family, have continued to this day. Today, it has been announced that the fossil belongs to a previously undiscovered species. The new species was named “Yamatosaurus izanagii”.
This discovery, which expanded the family tree of the hardosaur family, was made by the same team that discovered a species of the same family, named Kamuysaurus, in 2019. The previous fossil discovered with the last fossil is the first dinosaurs discovered in Japan from the late Cretaceous period. This sheds light on which dinosaurs lived in Japan at the end of the dinosaur age.
A dinosaur showing evolution from bipedal to quadrupedal
There are some characteristics that make the Yamatosaurus newcomer to the hardosaur family unique in the family. Yamatosaurus has a different tooth structure compared to other species. Hardosaurs had hundreds of teeth they carried on their cheeks, replacing as they wore or fell. The number and development of teeth in Yamatosaurus differ noticeably. For this reason, it is thought that the species feeds on different plant species compared to other species.
In addition, scientists made another discovery that sheds light on the evolution of two-legged to four-legged species, along with the fossil. It was noticed that there was an ‘unexpected development’ in the dinosaur’s shoulder and forelimb. This unexpected development also pointed out that the dinosaur was in an evolutionary process. The new species of the Hardosaur family, which was abundantly found in the Cretaceous period, thus created new question marks in the scientific world.
As for how dinosaurs migrated between the two continents, scientists speculate that hardosaurs crossed from Asia (Japan belonged to Asia 15 million years ago) via the Bering land bridge to present-day Alaska, which could have spread almost all over North America.
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