Asia is the continent with the most dinosaur discoveries in recent decades. This has allowed paleontologists to complete their understanding of dinosaur evolution. In this article, you will learn about 10 famous dinosaurs from Asia.
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Dilong means “Dragon Emperor” in Chinese. This name is not by chance because this 1.6 meter long theropod is part of the super-family of tyrannosauroids, like the tyrannosaurs. Living on the Asian continent 129 million years ago, it was covered with primitive feathers. This now leads to questions about the possibility that T Rexes also had feathers at least part of their lives. To date, paleontologists have discovered four specimens, including a nearly complete skeleton.
2. Dilophosaurus Sinensis
When we talk about Dilophosaurus, despite ourselves we think of the famous Hollywood creature from Jurassic Park. Yet, paleontological work conducted on the discovered fossils, skeletons and bones have shown neither the existence of a ruff nor the possibility of spitting poison in the Dilophosaurus. Nevertheless, this late Jurassic Asian dinosaur had very distinctive ridges on the top of its skull. Also known as Sinosaurus, the “Chinese Lizard” was 5.6 meters long (18.3 feet).
A 120 million year old dinosaur known as Microraptor or the “Little Thief” lived during the early Cretaceous period. Because of its structure, paleontologists now assume that it could glide from tree to tree, much like the contemporary flying squirrel. These characteristics make it an exception in avian evolution and Microraptor was certainly an evolutionary dead end. Regardless, it is one of the smallest known dinosaurs, along with Anchiornis huxleyi and Parvicursor remotus. 🐿
Duck-billed Shantungosaurus was 15 meters long, weighing close to 15 tons (49 feet). This makes this Asian dinosaur one of the largest ornithopods to have walked the earth (although some hadrosaurs were larger). However, its size did not prevent it from running away when predators were chasing it. His two back legs allowed him to ensure his survival run. 🏃♂️
The Fukuiraptor lived 127 million years ago in what is now Japan. This dinosaur was actually discovered in Fukui Prefecture, which is why it was named “Fukuiraptor”. From the remains discovered, it is estimated today that the adult reptile weighed about 590 kilograms for a length of 5 meters (16 feet). If you are wondering when you see these beautiful animals what do dinosaur eat, learn more in this article.
Fukuisaurus or “Fukui lizard” was also discovered in Fukui prefecture. 4.5 meters (14.7 feet) long and weighing 400 kilograms, this ornithopod has similarities with the Iguanodon.
The “Fukui Hunter,” named in 2016, has quickly earned recognition as one of the strangest dinosaurs we know of. Indeed, the Fukuivenator mixes primitive and advanced features. In addition, its neck is longer than most theropod dinosaurs and some of its teeth are similar to those of some herbivorous dinosaurs. Fukuivenator evolved from carnivorous dinosaurs, but was already on its way to eating plants. Paleontologists now believe that it was able to eat and digest meat, while varying its diet with plants. 🌿
Like other dinosaurs before it, the Oviraptor was named after the first discovery made. This is what earned it the name “Egg Thief”. Paleontologists first thought that the specimen was on Protoceratops eggs. But it was in fact the eggs of a female Oviraptor! This theropod was perhaps respectable after all. In any case, Oviraptorosaurs were found all over Asia which allowed an intense study of this clade by paleontologists. 🦹
Known to enthusiasts for its long claws, Therizinosaurus was an unusual herbivore. Indeed, this dinosaur was a theropod, which has challenged the systematic classification of theropods as carnivores in the study of natural history.
A major star of Jurassic Park, the Velociraptor is often thought to be American. However, this dinosaur lived in Central Asia. A mistake was also made about its size, because this theropod was the size of a turkey. It was nevertheless dangerous, because it knew how to hunt in packs and to be a formidable predator.