Photo/IllutrationThe serrated, jagged edges of a fossilized dinosaur tooth found in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture. (Provided by the Goshoura Cretaceous Museum and Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum)

  • Photo/Illustraion

KATSUYAMA, Fukui Prefecture--In the home of dinosaur fossils here in Japan, scientists have a new discovery they can sink their teeth into, possibly from one of the most fearsome predators that ever walked the Earth.

They have identified a piece of a fossil tooth found on Amakusa island in Kumamoto Prefecture as of a huge bipedal carnivorous dinosaur that roamed the area about 80 million years ago.

The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum here, northwestern Japan, announced the finding on July 5 of the tooth during joint field research in October 2014 with the Goshoura Cretaceous Museum, which is run by the Amakusa city government.

It belongs to a type of large theropoda, in which two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs are classified.

Scientists deduce that it could be from the Tyrannosauridae family, such as a gorgosaurus, which grew as large as over 7 meters, based on the characteristic round oval shape of the dissection of the tooth.

The part found was the crown of the tooth that is covered with dental enamel, measuring 42 millimeters long, 25 mm wide and 16 mm thick. The original length of the tooth is believed to have been more than 56 mm.

It has serrated, jagged edges, with a size of about 0.3 mm on its anterior and dorsal sides. It is believed to be either a tooth from the upper left jaw or the lower right jaw.

According to the museum, the tooth was found from the Ikusagaura stratum of the Himenoura Group of the late Cretaceous Period (about 80 million years ago) in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture.