Article from The Hankyoreh
An international team supported by the Gyeonggi provincial government has excavated a rare dinosaur fossil in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
Hwaseong City in Gyeonggi Province and an international dinosaur excavation team led by Lee Yung-nam, a researcher of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, said on December 17 that they had excavated 8-kilogram fossil of the Tarbosaurus. The Tarbosausus is an ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus.
This is the first time that an entire fossil of the Tarbosaurus, which lived during the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era about 80 million years ago, has been found. The academic community thinks that with the find, it can accurately confirm for the first time what the rare dinosaur looked like. Its entire appearance has not yet been confirmed due to the fact that fossils of its pelvis and tail region have not been found until now.
In addition, the team found a gastrolith - a stone in the abdominal cavity that aided digestion - in the fossil, which marks the first time this stone has been found in the remains of a carnivorous dinosaur. The fossil, which has already left Ulan Bator, will arrive in Incheon by boat via Tianjin in China. Twenty-five dinosaur experts from seven countries took part in the exploration, and the excavation work lasted for 35 days beginning on August 30.
The exploration was supported by Hwaseong City, which holds the nation’s largest fossil of dinosaur eggs. The city will pay an additional 2.5 billion won (US$2.7 million) to fund further excavation at the Gobi Desert site for the next five years.
Regarding the find, Dr. Lee Yung-nam said that it would help dinosaur research regarding the Korean peninsula, as scientists have only been able to guess which dinosaurs lived on the peninsula because only fragments of remains have been found until now.
Hwaseong City plans to display the fossil in a dinosaur museum due to be established in the city. Choi Yeong-geum, the mayor of Hwaseong, anticipates that his city will become South Korea’s hub for dinosaur research.