Neither a T-rex nor an Ankylosaurus, the skeleton of a whole new species of dinosaur has been unearthed in Japan. Interestingly, this is the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in the country. According to a study conducted by Hokkaido University researchers, the dinosaur skeleton was discovered underneath 72-million-year-old marine deposits in Mukawa, a town in Hokkaido, Japan.
Researchers firmly believe that the bones will help to explain the origin and evolution of dinosaurs in the region. As per the researchers, this newly found pre-historic creature is a completely new genus and species of the plant-eating hadrosaur, which roamed the Earth in the late Cretaceous period, more than 65 million years ago.
It is worth mentioning here that the dinosaur was nicknamed as Milawaryu, however, later the researchers gave it a proper classification as Kamuysaurus japonicas. Kamuysaurus japonicas means deity of Japanese dinosaurs.
The study published in Scientific Reports, stated that the first remains of the dinosaur were found in 2013, when scientists uncovered a partial tail of the reptile. Further excavations found a nearly complete skeleton — the largest ever found in Japan.
An analysis of 350 bones and 70 taxa of hadrosaurids determined that the dinosaur belongs to the Edmontosaurini clade, and is closely related to Kerberosaurus fossils unearthed in Russia and Laiyangosaurus found in China. According to the researchers, this dinosaur was almost eight meters long adult creature and weighted as about 4.5 US tons if it walked on two legs, or 5.8 US tons, if it walked on all four.
Importantly, the study helps connect the dots to the origin of the Edmontosaurini clade of dinosaurs and how it may have migrated across North America to Asia, which were connected at the time by present-day Alaska. The research further suggests that the dinosaur's ancestors seemed to prefer coastal areas, a rare habitat for dinosaurs during that period. The ocean habitat may have played an important role in the diversification of the hadrosaurids in its early evolution.