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Fossils of Dinosaurs Dating back 120 Mln Years Unearthed

A group of dinosaur fossils, dating back 120 million years, has been excavated in the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Archaeologists in the province found an almost intact a set of dinosaur fossil which is more than 10 meters long and 2.3 meters high. Also found were dozens of fossils of dinosaur limb bones, claws and backbones in Anlongbao Town of Shuangbai County in the past two months.

Based on initial research, these herbivorous dinosaurs were believed to live in the late Trias or early Jurassic periods, said Wang Guofu, a research fellow with Chuxiong Museum, which houses the unearthed dinosaur fossils.

Wang said there was the possibility that a new dinosaur species would be found among the fossils.

The dinosaur fossils were picked up by local farmers in the 1980s and the excavations were only done by the end of last year, taking into account the protection of the fossils.

Currently, dinosaur fossils have been unearthed in eight of the11 counties under the direct administration of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture.

China excavated its first dinosaur fossil in the northeast province of Heilongjiang in 1902. In 1979, a cluster of dinosaur fossils was found in Zigong City in southwest China's Sichuan Province, which hosts more than 100 sets of dinosaur fossils in a local museum.

Currently, the amount of dinosaur fossils unearthed in China ranks the third largest in the world. The fossilized dinosaurs were classified into more than 100 categories.

(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2006)

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