A well-preserved 4.5-meter-long fossilized dinosaur skeleton was excavated recently in Yixian County in northeast China's Liaoning Province.
It was the first time that an intact dinosaur fossil was discovered in western Liaoning, a major fossil reserve of various ancient animals in the world.
The newly excavated "Liaoning Dinosaur" was supposed to live between 124 million and 147 million years ago after a preliminary examination by Chinese paleontologists.
The cranium, teeth, scapula, vertebra, ribs, shank, coccyx and the claw of the dinosaur skeleton were all preserved intact. The skull is 0.35 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. The length between the neck vertebra and the pygal is 2.35 meters, and the tailbone is 1.8 meters long.
The trace of the large dinosaur fossil was first spotted by local residents in early October in a small village in Yixian County. Experts were sent immediately to excavate the site.
The cause of the dinosaur's death, its species and living habits are awaiting further research, said Bo Haichen, curator of the Liaoning branch museum of China Geological Museum.
Most of the fossils excavated in western Liaoning may be traced back as early as some 120 million years ago between the late Cretaceous Period and early Jurassic Period.
The excavation of the stunning feathered dinosaur and the earliest flowering plants in the world has turned the area into a treasure house of various fossils.
Experts believe that the discovery of the well-preserved dinosaur fossil will bring new evidence to study the evolution of ancient animals.
(People's Daily 11/24/2000)