A footprint fossil of a new dinosaur that was discovered in China last year has now been named after “Eubrontes Nobitai" as a tribute to popular cartoon character Nobita from the Japanese animation series Doraemon. According to Kyodo News, the fossil was discovered in July 2020 in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan.
Speaking about the decision to name the fossil after the cartoon character, Xing Lida, associate professor at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, said that the Doraemon’s movies featuring dinosaurs were “excellent" and they have been part of childhood memories of many people in China.
He mentions the 1980 release Nobita’s Dinosaur and Nobita’s New Dinosaur (1920) and added that these films made children “come to like" dinosaurs.
The distance between the four footprints discovered at the site is around 50 centimetres and the length of the sole is nearly 30 cms. Researchers estimated the body length of the animal could have been around 4 meters.
The footprint fossil has been recognised as being related to a species of carnivorous dinosaur Eubrontes in the Cretaceous. Professor Xing informed that a replica of these footprints has been sent to the Tokyo National Museum and Fujiko Pro Co, the production company of the Doraemon series. The replica sent to the museum in Tokyo will be made public on November 30.
The popular Japanese manga series Doraemon was first written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio in 1969. The story revolved around a blue robotic cat who travels from the 22nd century to the present-day world to help out a clumsy elementary schoolboy Nobita.
Nobita’s future grandson sends the robot back to the past so that his descendants can get a better life. The manga comic series was later spun off and adopted in various films and TV shows. Doraemon went to achieve cult status in Japan and its popularity can be fathomed from the fact that appointed as the first “anime ambassador" in 2008 by the country’s Foreign Ministry.