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Times Online-- World's 'largest dinosaur fossil site' found in China
Update time: 01/08/2009
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The remains of an enormous platypus have been found in China amongst what is believed to be the largest group of fossilised dinosaur bones ever discovered.

Palaeontologists have dug up more than 7,000 bones in 15 separate areas in Zhucheng City, known locally as ‘Dinosaur City’, in China’s eastern Shandong province.

"This group of fossilised dinosaurs is currently the largest ever discovered in the world... in terms of area," said Zhao Xijin, a palaeontologist from the China Academy of Sciences, according to the Beijing News.

One area in the region, which measures 985 feet long by 33ft wide and 17ft deep, was found to contain over 3,000 fossilised bones, according to the scientists who have been digging there since March.

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A 6.5ft skull of a large ceratopsian was also discovered in the region.

Scientists have also identified the remains of ankylosaurus, tyrannosaurus and coelurus, according to China`s official Xinhua news agency.

Mr Zhao said the discovery of so many dinosaurs in such a dense area could provide clues on how the animals became extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago.

He said the region was thought to have originally been a watery area abundant with grass which would have created the ideal habitat for a platypus-like animal.

Xinhua said palaeontologists are expecting to find many more remains in the area, which lies in a region that has produced more than 50 tonnes of dinosaur fossils since the 1960s.

Plans are being made to set up a fossil park in the area, but local mine operations that were suspended for the dig are eager to resume mining.

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