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Life-size replica created of Japan's largest fossilized dinosaur

A life-size replica of Japan's largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton is unveiled to the media in the town of Mukawa, Hokkaido, on April 11, 2019. (Mainichi/Kan Takeuchi)

MUKAWA, Hokkaido -- A life-size replica of Japan's largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton has been produced, according to researchers in this town where the original fossil discovery was made.

The replica of the plant-eating Hadrosaurid, nicknamed "Mukawaryu," measures 8 meters long and 3.6 meters tall. It was created with duplicates of the actual fossils unearthed from a 72 million-year-old geological layer.

Resin was used to mold 212 fossilized bones excavated in the Hobetsu region of the town in 2003 and it took two years to create the giant model.

"The replica is based on real fossils apart from the nose, waist and part of the tail. We can show an image of the dinosaur walking by the sea as it looks far away," said Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, a Hokkaido University professor who supervised the project.

The town of Mukawa was heavily damaged in the September 2018 Hokkaido earthquake. Commenting on the achievement, Mayor Yoshiyuki Takenaka said, "The dinosaur model will help promote the restoration of the town."

The replica and the fossils are scheduled for display at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo from July 13.

(Japanese original by Hidehiro Fukushima, Hokkaido News Department)

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