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Fossils from Koh Por Island identified as sauropod

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Fossilised bones were found on Koh Por island in Koh Kong province on Thursday. Koh Kong Administration

Fossils from Koh Por Island identified as sauropod

Scientists from France, China and Switzerland, along with officials from the Ministry of Environment and the Royal University of Fine Arts, have concluded that the dinosaur fossils discovered on Koh Por Island in Koh Kong province in 2021 belonged to a sauropod, according to a ministry official.

Sauropods were very large long necked herbivorous dinosaurs. The best known examples of sauropods are the brontosaurus and diplodocus.

Lim Vanchan, head of the heritage department at the General Directorate of Local Communities, said: “The fossils will be kept at the ministry. We will continue working to determine whether they belong to a new species, or if they are related to the long necked dinosaurs whose fossils were discovered in Thailand,” he said.

He added that international experts had excavated the dinosaur fossils on Koh Kong’s Koh Por Island on November 21. The site is close to the Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary in Koh Por village, in Mondul Seima district’s Bak Khlang commune.

He said the fossils were the fibula of the left leg, and measured 70cm long and 20cm wide. Initial estimates suggested that they were between 65 and 190 million years old.

The team said this was the first discovery of verified dinosaur fossils in Cambodia. The fossils were found in the island’s layers of sandstone.

According to Vanchan, fossils were first found in Cambodia in 2017. Most of the 43 sites where fossils have been discovered contain the remains of sea creatures, or fossilized plant life.

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