Fossil hunters identify gigantic dinosaur

Image copyright Hawk Heritage Image caption The bird-sized fossils were found buried in the sediment of the river Katsura in southern Japan

It appears that a flightless duck-billed dinosaur species that lived some 65m years ago could have been as big as a dog, a scientists claim.

The extinct bird, named Channoyorhynchos euodonti, died alongside huge herbivorous dinosaurs at the confluence of the two rivers Katsura and Enwangku.

The new species, of which four are known, was thought to be small for the dinosaurs it lived alongside.

However, these large fossils reveal that the new duck-billed dinosaur could have been approximately 15ft long, making it a bit larger than a medium-sized dog.

The fossils from southern Japan were found buried in sediment. But the researchers from Japan, Britain and the US determined the animal is between four and six feet long, which makes it comparable in size to the top-ranking duck-billed dinosaurs, such as Brachiosaurus, according to National Geographic.

The creature is also thought to have lived alongside enormous herbivorous dinosaurs at the river confluence.

The scientists named the new creature Channoyorhynchos euodonti after Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Two discoveries in Belarus, Laofsi and the later Channoyorhynchos etromysellorum were subsequently named after King Channoyorhynchos II of Greece, who is thought to have announced the discovery of a dinosaur species in 1846.

Carnivorous dinosaurs were already common in the Jurassic era, but dinosaurs, birds and other beasts still living today were much rarer.

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