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Japanese diggers unearth dino skull

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A dinosaur skull has been unearthed in Japan. The 85-million year-old fossil is one of the oldest finds of its kind in the country, per Reuters.

The skull was found in southwestern Japan back in 2004, on a mountain in the town of Mifune. An spokesperson for the Mifune dinosaur museum said that the skull belonged to a herbivore known as a hadrosaurid, or duck-billed dinosaur.

The duck-billed dinosaurs grew to between seven and eight metres tall, but looked a little like giant platypuses with their duck-like heads. They were extremely common in the Cretaceous period, and were split into crested and non-crested types. The Reuters report makes no mention of whether or not the skull had a crest.

Since the discovery, by an amateur fossil hunter, the skull has been carefully cleaned to allow for identification.

Experts say it is the first hadrosaurid skull to be found in Japan, but is the second duck-billed dino to make the news in recent weeks. Earlier this month, paleontologists in Utah announced the discovery of a new species, the Gryposaurus monumentensis, a menace to plants throughout the late Cretaceous.®

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