Monday, July 21, 2008

The 'Biggest' dinosaur tooth discovered

An amateur fossil huntsman has discovered what might be the biggest domestic fossil of a dinosaur tooth in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Satoshi Utsunomiya, a 38-year-old company worker from Kanazawa, has found the fossil in June on red rock in the lower Cretaceous strata of the earth.

Experts think the time-worn tusk belonged to a therapod, a group of carnivorous dinosaurs that contain the Tyrannosaurus rex, which roamed the Earth 130 million years ago. Almost wholly preserved the tooth measures 8.2 centimeters in length and is 2.8 centimeters broad at its widest.

In accordance with the National Museum of Nature and Science, the biggest tooth found formerly in Japan is the 7.5-centimeter-long Mifuneryu, which was unearthed in Mifunemachi, Kumamoto Prefecture, in 1979. One specialist says the Hakusan tooth is "the biggest specimen found in ideal condition in this country." Nobuomi Matsuura, 75, an ex- director of the Hakusan Dinosaurs Park Shiramine in Hakusan, and Masahiro Tanimoto, 55, a special associate of the Palaeontological Society of Japan, authenticated the tooth.


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