Keratan Akhbar
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{gspeech language=en} KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—It’s not every day that you hear about dinosaurs in Malaysia, a tropical Southeast Asian country better known for its twin Petronas skyscrapers and long beaches than as a home to prehistoric creatures.

BN-BP973 MYdino G 20140220232119

But on Wednesday scientists announced they had discovered the fossilized tooth of a fish-eating dinosaur known as the spinosaurid – a bipedal creature similar to a Tyranosaurus but with a crocodile-like snout.

BN-BP426 MYDino D 20140220020137The find marks the first discovery of dinosaur remains in Malaysia and was confirmed in a statement by Masatoshi Sone, the paleontologist leading the dig in the eastern state of Pahang.

According to researchers, the serrations on the fossilized tooth indicate it belonged to a carnivorous dinosaur. The tiny conical tooth, less than an inch long and narrow, would have fit well inside the elongated jaw of the spinosaurid, a semi-aquatic creature that hunted large, fresh-water fish.

Mr. Masatoshi, who has been exploring the eastern state of Pahang with a team of Malaysian and Japanese paleontologists, said he believes “large deposits” of dinosaur fossils still remain in Malaysia and hopes to conduct “more extensive field investigations that may disclose more significant finds.”

The discovery – a joint effort by researchers from the University of Malaya and Japan’s Waseda and Kumamoto universities – could also drum up interest and investment in developing the study of palaeontology in Malaysia, and could even result in a Malaysian dinosaur museum, scientists say.

The five-man team led by Mr. Masatoshi started field expeditions to search for potential dinosaur deposits in Malaysia in September 2012. They did so because the rock strata in the interior of peninsular Malaysia is known to contain sediment from the late Mesozoic age, which occurred between 145 million and 75 million years ago.

The precise location of the discovery wasn’t disclosed to protect the site from disturbances. In recent years digs in Thailand, Laos and Mongolia have been targeted by private collectors and robbers.



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