Fossils of 12th dinosaur species found in Nakhon Ratchasima

Important discovery: Suwat pointing at a display of the Siamraptor at an event in Bangkok. — The Nation/ANN

Bangkok: Former Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop, and Sommai Techawan, Director-General of Mineral resource department, announced the discovery of fossils of a previously-unknown species of predatory dinosaurs in an event attended by supporters of the fossil research programme, including Dr Duangsuda Chokchalermwong, Prof Dr Yoichi Azuma and Asst Prof Pratueng Jintasakul.

Pratueng said Siamraptor Suwati, as it has been named, was discovered at the Ban Saphan Hin site of the Khok Kruat Formation, Nakhon Ratchasima Province.

The first word in the dinosaur’s name (Siamraptor) means hunter of Siam, while the second word (Suwati) was added to honour Suwat Liptapanlop who has supported the research work of Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Woods and Mineral Resources for 25 years.

The researchers estimated that four Siamraptor Suwati used to hunt in the area, based on 22 pieces of fossils found – skull parts, upper and lower jawbones, neck bones, backbones, tail bones, hip bones, back leg bones, claw, and toe bones.

Siamraptor Suwati is the latest species of large carnivorous dinosaurs discovered in Thailand.

It is estimated to be least 8m tall and shared a similar evolution as Allosaurus, carcharodontosaurian dinosaurs, a widespread species during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

The outstanding feature of Siamraptor Suwati is the shark teeth, common among predators roaming the world 115 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period.

Suwat said that the 12th dinosaur discovery marked another success of Thai-Japan cooperation and reflected the varieties of fossils in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Remains of many pre-historic animals have been found there, such as ancient elephants, crocodiles, turtles, rats, and recently, the shark-toothed dinosaur. — The Nation/ANN

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