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Scientist: China bones up on dinosaur research
( 2002-09-16 10:24 ) (8 )

China has become a mecca for paleontologists worldwide due to constant new discoveries of ancient fossilized organisms, says American scientist D. L. Dilcher on Sunday.

  Dilcher and a team of world-renowned scientists are in Jiayin County, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, seeking clues to the catastrophe that depopulated the earth of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

  Scientists hope to find the cause of the depopulation in the county where a great many fossils of dinosaurs living in the late Cretaceous period have been unearthed.

  Dinosaur research has been ongoing in China for 100 years and forms an indispensable chapter in the world's magnum opus on the subject, says Dong Zhiming, a notable Chinese dinosaur expert and professor at Jilin University.

  The 65-year-old professor has been involved in dinosaur research for 40 years.

  China has made big strides forward from merely collecting research materials and classifying dinosaurs to delving deeper into the study of dinosaurs by using new advanced research methods, Dong says.

  "We can discuss their habits by studying the contents of dinosaurs' stomachs and with the help of an electron microscope, we can visualize how they looked when they were alive," Dong added.

  The scientist said the land mass of China was not flooded by sea water during the period covering the arrival of dinosaurs to their disappearance, and the country had uninterrupted terrestrial deposits, a sound environment for the evolution of dinosaurs.

  China deserved the name "nation of dinosaurs," Dong said. It boasts 119 species of the nearly 900 dinosaur species excavated so far worldwide.



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