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.