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Dinotherium Giganteum's Fossil Raises Mind-Boggling Questions


News Category:  Prehistory

 18 June 2004



Paleontologists believe the recent discovery of a Dinotherium Giganteum's fossil in the Iranian city of Varzaghan can help them map out the evolution trajectory of elephants.

Following the discovery of the most complete fossil of the pre-historic dinosaur, dating back to 2 -7 million years ago, in the Iranian city of Varzaghan, researchers are scratching their heads to find answers to some mind-boggling questions. Was Varzaghan the habitat of giant dinosaurs one day? What factor led to their extinction in the area? How could the discovery solve mysteries about great mammals of today, such as elephants?

Among the fossils found in Varzaghan, one can be amazed at the Dinotherium Giganteum's enormous teeth, as big as a human's head. Its lower jaw measures 1.5 meters in length. "Dinotherium Giganteums have, indeed, been the forefathers of today's elephants. They were herbivores, having two giant ivories on its upper jaw. Their main differences with elephants can be seen in their longer trunk, simpler and shallower skulls, and the growth of their ivories on the upper jaw instead of those of elephants on the lower jaw," observed Dr. Zeinolabedin Abrishamshi, professor of paleontology and geology at Tabriz University.

Dinotherium Giganteum is one of the most unique types of dinosaurs and archaeologists have never been able to find a complete set of its skeleton to date. Iranian repairing staff discovered this precious fossil more than six months ago while repairing the stable of a historical house, named Amir Ershad's House. Paleontologists initially thought it belonged to a mammoth: however, studies conducted by scholars at Tabriz University, northwestern of Iran, concluded it has been a Dinotherium Giganteum fossil.



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