STL Science Center

STL Science Center

05 June 2013

Fukuisaurus and its Jaw

It is strange how little of Fukuisaurus has been recovered. It is also strange how pictures of the bones are not in circulation; this is no doubt in part due to the exclusivity of JVP articles and the images used therein.The jaw fragments used in the description are present in the model, as casts of course, on exhibit in Fukui Prefecture's museum and we can therefore see them there. They present as expected; as typical hadrosaurine or iguanodontid jaw bones would be expected. Really, the descriptive material is minimal, but consistent with the types of dinosaurs that Fukuisaurus is reported to be related to. The extrapolations, thumb spikes, hadrosaurine body head and posture, are within reason given the diagnosis and description; however, what really needs to be done is more excavation. The only thing that will truly cement the placement and validity of Fukuisaurus is more evidence that attests to the certainty of the current taxonomic placement of the animal. Ideally an entire skeleton may be found, but for now I think that the cause for the skeleton would be furthered by even smaller associated numbers of material such as an entire skull or bits of forelimbs and/or hindlimbs discovered near known skull elements. More expeditions, digging, and a little luck will go a long way and can only be seen in time though.
Model near the skeletal model in Fukui Prefecture's museum

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