KUALA TERENGGANU, Nov 16 – The Gagau-Menjejak Dinosaur Expedition 2014 carried out by the Mineral and Geoscience Department and Malaysian Geological Heritage Group (KWGM) has led to the discovery of a dinosaur fossil around Mount Gagau in Kenyir Lake, Hulu Terengganu. The 10-day expedition from Oct 13 to 22 involved researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Petronas and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, two officers from the Terengganu Wildlife and National Parks Department and 10 Geoscience officers.
Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said the expedition found two fossil teeth, several footprints in six areas and four dinosaur bones from the Theropod and Sauropod groups and an Iguanodon dinosaur in Sungai Chichir, Gunung Gagau. “Mount Gagau is located at the Terengganu-Kelantan-Pahang border, where the expedition also found plant fossils, petrified wood and outcrops of coal in Sungai Pertang.
“I am confident this finding will strengthen and add value to our hopes to turn the Kenyir Lake Geopark into a National Geopark which is recognised as a Unesco Global Geopark,” he told a news conference at Wisma Darul Iman here today. Ahmad Razif said they hoped the Mineral and Geoscience Department would continue efforts in more detail and the state government will provide suffort and necessary assistance to make the project a reality.
Meanwhile, Mineral and Geoscience Department Director-General Datuk Yunus Abdul Razak said the discovery built confidence that dinosaur fossil does exist in Malaysia. “Actually, we’ve been looking for fossils for a while in areas with aged rocks in Jura-Kapur where, based on studies, dinosaurs only existed in this area and in Malaysia the Jura-Kapur area can be found in Mount Gagau and Mount Panti, Johor.
“Finding fossils of more than 20 species of dinosaurs in Korat, Thailand has excited us to find dinosaurs here and after long hours under sun and rain our work finally paid off,” he said. Yunus said they would carry out more detailed studies in the area for other species that might be there. “Finding the dinosaur fossil also opens a new dimension into geological knowledge as well as make an impact on the country’s eco-tourism industry,” he added.