Khonkaen

Historical Record of Dinosaur Fossil Excavation at Phu Wiang

 
 

The first discovery of dinosaur fossils in Thailand was made in 1976 when the Department of Mineral Resources (Thailand) sent out a geological team to conduct a uranium survey in Phu Wiang District, Khon Kaen Province. The team discovered a large piece of fossilised bone at Pratu Ti Ma on the West Phu Wiang site. French paleobiologists verified that these fossilised remains were fragments of a prehistoric Sauropod dinosaur, which is a large herbivorous dinosaur first found in Thailand. This discovery resulted in an on-going collaboration of Thai-French Paleontological Projects, which has continued to the present.

Since this collaboration, there has been a continuous discovery of many other Sauropod fossils scattered around large vicinities of the Phu Wiang Mountains. The most prominent fossilised dinosaur discovery at Phu Wiang is the first discovery of a new species including a Sauropod dinosaur later named Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae, a Theropod dinosaur later named Siamotyrannus isanensis and Siamosaurus suteethorni.

Nowadays, there are up to 9 dinosaur excavation sites in Phu Wiang District, including:

Excavation Site No. 1: Pratu Ti Ma Formation, discovered fossilised bone fragments of Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae and teeth fossils of Siamosaurus suteethorni.

Excavation Site No. 2: Chia Cave, discovered fossilised neck fragments of Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae.

Excavation Site No. 3: Pratu Ti Ma Creek, discovered many fossilised bone fragments of a large herbivorous dinosaur.

Excavation Site No. 4: Non Sao E Formation, Nong Khong Village, discovered fossilised bone fragments of an adult Sauropod dinosaur (a large herbivorous dinosaur with four legs, a long-neck and long-tail) and juvenile Sauropods. Additionally, enamelled scales of extinct marine species called Lepidotes and also tortoise shells were discovered.

Excavation Site No. 5: Sam Ya Kha Site, discovered fossilised bone fragments of a Sauropod dinosaur and Theropod (a carnivorous dinosaur with short forelimbs that walked or ran on strong hind legs).

Excavation Site No. 6: Dong Kheng Site, discovered many fossilised bone fragments of a Sauropod dinosaur and fossils of a small pre-historic crocodile.

Excavation Site No. 7: Phu Noi, discovered many mixed sizes of fossilised dinosaur bone fragments.

Excavation Site No. 8: Hin Lat Pa Chat, discovered several dinosaur footprints both small and large carnivorous dinosaurs on the talus.

Excavation Site No. 9: Hin Lat Yao, discovered fossilised bone fragments of Siamotyrannus isanensis.