A dinosaur fossil was discovered in the Philippines for the very first time. The huge bone of the dinosaur was first found in Palawan last August by a group of children. A team of international paleontologists visited the area and has officially confirmed that the discovered remains came from a dinosaur.
According to Conrado Blanco, the counselor of Barangay Buluang in Busuanga, the parents of the children went to him to report the rare discovery. At first, the locals thought that the strange-looking bone came from a huge elephant and they initially planned to bury it again.
The news spread all over the area until it reached the knowledge of Chris Carvajal, a Filipino amateur paleontologist who happens to be near the area for a vacation with a friend. And because he loves to collect fossils, the local officials allowed him to keep the bone.
Carvajal took photo of the bone and posted it online. A few days later, it was seen by John J. Flynn, a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History. Flynn asked Carvajal if he could see the fossil on different angles, and the latter agreed without any hesitation at all.
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After several chats via Skype, the American paleontologist made the necessary documents to fly to Palawan with this team to see the actual fossil. They brought along with them the necessary tools and equipment to investigate the claim of the first dinosaur fossil found in the Philippines.
After months of conducting deep analysis, Flynn finally concluded that the item is indeed a fossilized dinosaur bone. According to him, it belongs to a Megalosaurus (or “great lizard”), the first ever dinosaur fossil discovered, in England in 1676. That time, the term “dinosaur” is not yet being used.
Megalosaurus is believed to be a meat-eating dinosaur that lived on Earth about 166 million years ago, or the so-called Middle Jurassic period. Based on earlier studies, this massive theropod dinosaur can grow up to 10 feet tall, 30 feet long, and can weigh to about 1 ton (2,000 pounds).
For its anatomy, Megalosaurus has a pair of very powerful legs but has short arms. It has a huge head, short but strong neck, serrated teeth, a bulky body with heavy bones, and a massive long tail. Its scientific name was given by William Buckland in 1824.
Meanwhile, Flynn requested Carvajal to come with him back to the US to study the dinosaur bone further. The Filipino paleontologist agreed provided that the fossil will be returned to the Philippines to be placed in a museum. Proper documents are still under process as of posting.
Dinosaurs are very much unlikely to have lived in the Philippines. Based on science, the Philippine archipelago only existed during the Tertiary period, or 6.5 to million years ago. This is a few millions of years after the last dinosaurs have lived on Earth.
However, Flynn emphasized that scientists have also concluded earlier that it is impossible for dinosaurs to reach New Zealand because of its isolated location. But in 1975, local amateur paleontologist Joan Wiffen discovered the first dinosaur fossil in Maungawera Valley.