Free Press Journal

First dinosaur fossil found in Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur: Scientists claim to have unearthed the first known dinosaur fossil in Malaysia – the tooth of a fish-eating predator at least 75 million years old.

Researchers from the University of Malaya in Malaysia, Waseda University and Kumamoto University in Japan discovered the dinosaur fossil teeth in the rural interiors of Pahang.

“Recently, we have successfully confirmed the presence of dinosaur remains (fossilised teeth) in Pahang,” said lead researcher, Dr Masatoshi Sone.

Professor Ren Hirayama, a specialist in reptile palaeontology, identified that one of the teeth, Sample UM10575, belongs to a spinosaurid dinosaur, known as a carnivorous “fish-eating” dinosaur.

UM10575 is about 23mm long and 10mm wide. It develops fairly distinct carinae or front and rear edges with serrations, typical to a tooth of a theropod or carnivorous dinosaur, researchers said.

Well-marked coarse ridges are developed on the surface of the tooth, and the surface bears micro-ornament or very fine sculptures, these characterise a spinosaurid tooth.

The new fossils were found from sedimentary rock strata of late Mesozoic age, most likely Cretaceous (145–75 million years ago).

In the interior of Peninsular Malaysia, Jurassic-Cretaceous sediments are known to be widely distributed, the researchers have targeted a potential dinosaur deposit there.

Researchers said it is expected that large deposits of dinosaur fossils still remain in Malaysia.