A new species of dinosaur has been discovered. A team of scientists found the fossils near Mukawa Town in northern Japan. The dinosaur was first called Mukawaryu, after the place where it was found. Scientists later gave it the official name Kamuysaurus japonicas, which means “Japanese dragon god.”
Japanese Dragon God
In 2013, researchers from Hobetsu Museum and Hokkaido University Museum found part of the dinosaur’s tail. Over time, they uncovered a nearly complete skeleton with hundreds of bones. Scientists think the dinosaur is a duck-billed, herbivorous (plant-eating) species. It was over 26 feet long and weighed either four or 5.3 tons when it was alive, depending on whether it was walking on two or four feet. It also had tilted spines along its back, a short jaw bone, and it may have had a thin, flat crest on its head. The location of the skeleton suggests it lived in coastal areas, a rare habitat for large dinosaurs.
The species belongs to the Edmontosaurini group, which lived across Asia and North America. These areas were once connected by Alaska, so creatures could travel between the two continents. Later, Kamuysaurus japonicas was isolated in Asia.
It may seem rare for new species of dinosaurs to be discovered, but it actually happens more often than you might think. In August, South African scientists realized a skull that had been kept in a museum for three decades belonged to a new species. It is an omnivorous species that stood on two feet, was about ten feet tall and had a long, thin neck. It is now called Ngwevu intloko, which means Grey Skull in the South African language of isiXhosa.