Duck-billed dinosaur discovered in northern Japan.

Researchers say a dinosaur whose complete skeleton was found in Hokkaido, northern Japan, is a previously unknown species.

It has been given the scientific name of “Kamuysaurus japonicus,” or “god of the dinosaurs.” “Kamuy” refers to a deity of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido.

The fossilized bones of the 8-meter-long dinosaur were unearthed in Mukawa Town in 2003. It is the largest complete dinosaur skeleton ever found in Japan.

The dinosaur is estimated to have weighed between 4 to 5.3 tons, and lived about 72 million years ago during the late Cretaceous Period.

The group led by Professor Yoshitsugu Kobayashi of the Hokkaido University Museum analyzed the lower jaw and backbone of the duck-billed herbivorous dinosaur and determined that it is a previously unknown species.

Kobayashi said research about these dinosaurs is only just beginning, and he hopes to find out how they lived.

Yoshiyuki Horita, who discovered the skeleton, said he is happy that the new name is related to Hokkaido.


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