updated 8/4/2004 4:56:25 PM ET 2004-08-04T20:56:25

A Japanese hiker has discovered six bones believed to be from a dinosaur that lived 78 million years ago, a researcher said Tuesday.

The fragments of teeth and bone are thought be from a Lambeosaurus, said Haruo Saegusa, a researcher at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Sumoto.

Lambeosaurus is a type of Hadrosaur, the so-called duck-billed dinosaur, that grew to more than 30 feet (9 meters) long, weighed about 4 tons and lived 78 million years ago.

Hadrosaurs survived by eating plants and avoiding carnivores and were very common throughout much of the ancient world, but discoveries have been rare in Japan.

The fossils were found near Sumoto city on Awaji, a small island off the coast of the western city of Kobe, about 270 miles (430 kilometers) west of Tokyo, he said.

“It’s unusual to find so many fossils from what appears to have been a single animal. Normally, we’ll only find one or two, maybe,” Saegusa said.

Among the largest of the fossils is a tooth measuring nearly 2 feet (60 centimeters) long.

A 55-year-old construction worker and amateur paleontologist came upon the beak bone, teeth, vertebrae and tail vertebrae of the creature in May while hiking in the woods, Saegusa said.

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