Remarkably Well-Preserved 130-Million-Year-Old Stegosaurus Fossils Unearthed in North China’s Hebei Province

Two well-preserved dinosaur fossils dating back approximately 130 million years were recently unearthed in north China’s Hebei. (Twitter)

Two well-preserved dinosaur fossils dating back approximately 130 million years were recently unearthed in north China’s Hebei Province, according to local authorities on Thursday.

Both of the discoveries were herbivorous dinosaurs, and they were found in Fengning Man Autonomous County within the city of Chengde, according to a press briefing by the provincial department of natural resources.

One of the fossils has been attributed to the more primitive ceratosaurus, filling a gap in the evolutionary history and development of the ceratosaurus. The second fossil belongs to a stegosaurus and is a near-perfect preservation of its skeleton and skin.

The stegosaurus fossil, measuring about 5 meters in length, is nearly complete at the Fengning fossil conservation research center. It includes four tail bone spurs that are highly recognizable, and its skeleton is accompanied by intact fossilized skin. The pattern of the skin, similar to what can be seen on snakes or lizards today, is incredibly distinct and clear.

“The dinosaur skin fossil is exceptionally rare. The bones and teeth of dinosaurs became fossils relatively easily, making well-preserved dinosaur skin fossils a rarity,” said Guo Ying, an associate professor at the Institute of Geology and Paleontology at Linyi University.

The preservation of the other dinosaur fossil is also quite remarkable. Its hind limbs were obviously longer than its forelimbs.

Work to restore the dinosaur fossils is currently underway.

According to local authorities, two well-preserved dinosaur fossils dating back approximately 130 million years were recently unearthed in north China’s Hebei Province. Both of the discoveries were herbivorous dinosaurs. Measuring about 5 meters in length, the stegosaurus fossil is nearly complete at the Fengning fossil conservation research center.

It includes four tail bone spurs that are highly recognizable and its skeleton is accompanied by intact fossilized skin. The pattern of the skin, similar to what can be seen on snakes or lizards today, is incredibly distinct and clear.

The nearly complete skin will provide key evidence to reveal the body surface characteristics, physiology and habits of stegosaurus dinosaurs, said Pei Rui, associate researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The stegosaurus fossil, unearthed in Fengning Man autonomous county, Chengde, North China’s Hebei province, contains a nearly complete skeleton and skin.

The first discovery of the two fossils was in 2017, when two leg bones were found. Excavation and restoration work have been ongoing since then.

At present, the fossils’ restoration work has been completed, according to the Department of Natural Resources of Hebei. For the next step, a 3D model of equal scale for them will be made and related research will be underway.

Stegosaurus

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