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UPDATED: 14:38, June 25, 2004
China discovers fossils of dinosaur's contemporary - Docodonta
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Chinese and German paleontologists discovered seven tooth fossils of Docodonta in Junggar Basin, a mammoth that lived 175 million years ago during the early Jurassic Period. This is the first time for this kind of fossils to have been discovered in China. Paleontologists from China and Germany announced the important discovery during Sino-German Symposium On Joint Study of Xinjiang Paleontology, Geological Evolvement and Environmental Changes held in Urumqi on April 25.

These Docodonta tooth fossils were discovered by Chinese and German paleontologists of Sino-German Joint Research Team in 2000 at Liuhuanggou of Xinjiang Junggar Basin about 15 kilometers southwest of Urumqi, according to professor Pfretzschner, Dean of Geo-Paleontology College of Tuebingen University, and Dr. Martin at Free University of Berlin. Two of them are relatively intact lower molar teeth and one upper molar tooth.

Docodonta lived about 175 million years ago when dinosaurs were predominant on this planet. It had a length of five to seven centimeters and the shape of today's mouse. It is a small mammoth. Docodontas are usually classified into the herbivorous and insectivorous. Their main natural enemies were then the small reptiles and small carnivorous dinosaurs.

According to experts docodonta fossils were now very rare in the world and are mostly discovered in Europe and North America. There have been only several docodonta tooth fossils discovered in Asia.

By People's Daily Online

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