KUALA TERENGGANU: A 17-man geological expedition last month have discovered dinosaur fossils in Mount Gagau, Hulu Terengganu.
The fossils, which consisted of several footprints, bones and teeth, were possibly of three different dinosaur species.
The teeth, measuring about 1.5 cm in length, and some of the footprints, belonged to an Iguanodon while two other different footprints were dinosaurs of thetheropod and sauropod families.
The dinosaur bones that were found in a rock is yet to be identified.
“This is a very significant discovery and the people of Terengganu will be very proud of this.
“It will also provide an added value into gazetting the Kenyir lake area into a geopark,” said Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman, who made the announcement at Wisma Darul Iman here on Sunday.
The 10-day expedition was executed by the Mineral and Geoscience Department and the Malaysian Geological Heritage Group on Oct 13.
This is the first dinosaur fossil to be unearthed in Terengganu and it comes just days after the announcement of a second dinosaur fossil discovery in Pahang.
Minerals and Geoscience Department director-general Datuk Yunus Abd Razak said the discovery showed that findings of more dinosaur fossils in the area were highly likely.
“Hence it is very important for us to find the best way to protect the area, and we will be discussing this with the Forestry Department as well as the Wildlife and National Parks Department,” said Yunus.
Yunus said the findings in Terengganu were more significant than in Pahang as most of the fossils were intact and also located near to each other.
It was in the 1970s when Mount Gagau, at the Kenyir lake national park, was first identified to have fossilised remains in its hills.
The Iguanodon were large, bulky herbivores, known for its spiked thumbs and iguana-like teeth and lived in the late Jurassic period to the late Cretaceous period, which is about 163 million to 66 million years ago.
Fossils of the Iguanodon were also previously found in Korat, Thailand.
Sauropods were enormous plant-eating dinosaurs with long necks similar to the giraffe while theropods were primarily carnivorous dinosaurs.