On a quick lunchtime visit to the Oazu Building near Tokyo Station the other day, I ran into some dinosaurs.
There were three complete skeletons set up in the building’s atrium, including an eight-meter-long Tsintaosuarus (above), which can best be described as a duck-billed unicorn. The periscope-like projection from the top of its head is so bizarre that when the first one was discovered some scientists thought the skull had been broken and deformed in the process of fossilization. But later they found another specimen that fit the same pattern. Weird as it looks, it’s real.
There was also a cute little skeleton belonging to a juvenile Apatosaurus. This is the creature formerly known as bronotsaurus, so by “little” I mean it was the size of a Great Dane. According to explanatory signage in both Japanese and English, it is very rare to find such a complete skeleton. In fact, even this “complete” skeleton was found without a head, so the skull is a reconstruction.
The dinosaurs I saw at the Oazo Building were all plant-eaters, but a collection of meat-eaters is also on display at the nearby Maru Biru. These include a 10-meter-long Baryonyx, which resembles a T. rex with powerful claws and a crocodile’s head. It apparently specialized in catching fish.
I didn’t have time to visit the meat-eaters and see the Fukuiraptor for myself, but I plan to drop by soon. The display runs through Aug. 18.