Cambodia: Dinosaurs at Ta Prohm?

Built about 800 years ago Ta Prohm is a monastery in the Angkor Wat complex. Today it is held tightly in the grip of the surrounding jungle with large fig and spung trees feeling their way around its moss covered walls.

We were alone when we arrived at dawn and walked through the cool, damp rooms and courtyards with only butterflies for company. Like most of Angkor Wat the carvings and bas reliefs are surprisingly well preserved. Gods and mythical creatures decorate the walls and doorways. But one particular doorway in a quiet corner of the temple caught our attention. Around the opening among carvings of deer and elephants was what appeared to be a creature from much earlier times.

Could it be a dinosaur? A stegosaurus? A species that we believe became extinct 150 million years ago? Did the Khmer discover fossils or did dinosaurs survive in the jungles of Asia longer than we thought?