Yunnan to give HK a giant dinosaur fossil

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 April, 2008, 12:00am

Yunnan province will give Hong Kong a giant dinosaur fossil as a gift as its governor prepares to visit the city early next week, according to China News Service.

The lufengosaurus fossil weighs 4 tonnes, Yang Zhengquan, head of the publicity department of Chuxiong prefecture, was quoted by the report yesterday as saying.

It is from the Jurassic period, estimated nearly 200 million years ago. The prefecture government is considering how to deal with difficulties in transporting it, due to the sizeable skeleton which is 6 metres long, Mr Yang said.

He said the fossil was expected to arrive in the city in October, the 70th anniversary of the first excavation of a buried dinosaur fossil in Chuxiong.

Governor Qin Guangrong will visit Hong Kong to promote Yunnan and to deepen co-operation.

A lufengosaurus fossil was sent to Hong Kong in mid-2005 for an exhibition and attracted hundreds of thousands of people.

More than 10 lufengosaurus fossils have been found in Yunnan.

The lufengosaurus is herbivorous and is one of the oldest Chinese dinosaurs. It used to occur in large numbers. About 82 per cent of the fossilised animals recovered from the Lufeng rock beds in the prefecture were of this type.

Lufengosauruses are closely related to plateosauruses, a well-known European prosauropod.

Rising high on its strong hind legs and having a massive tail, the lufengosaurus probably fed on low branches of coniferous trees, well above the reach of other plant eaters. Its strong claws might have helped it grip tree trunks and also made formidable defensive weapons.

The lufengosaurus was a relative of the sauropod, a giant plant eater.