Varavudh Suteethorn

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Varavudh Suteethorn
วราวุธ สุธีธร
Varavudh Suteethorn

(1948-10-10) 10 October 1948 (age 72)
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Known forDiscoveries in palaeontology in the Khorat Plateau
Scientific career
FieldsGeology, Palaeontology (vertebrate)
InstitutionsMahasarakham University

Varavudh Suteethorn, or Warawut Suteethorn (Thai:วราวุธ สุธีธร; born 10 October 1948) is a Thai geologist and palaeontologist. He is the current director of the Palaeontological Research and Education Centre, Mahasarakham University.[1][2] He is best known for his work on vertebrate palaeontology in northeastern Thailand, having contributed to the discovery of many fossil taxa and dig sites in the Khorat Plateau, as a part of a long-standing collaboration between Thai and French scientists.


Varavudh Suteethorn was born in the Nakhon Pathom Province of central Thailand on 10 October 1948. He obtained a bachelor's degree in geology from the Chiang Mai University in 1967, and started working at the Geological Survey Division of the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) in 1974 as he began his career in geology. While working for the DMR, Suteethorn gained expertise on Thailand's northeastern Isan region, located in the Khorat Plateau. His geological mapping of those areas led to the discovery of various new fossil sites,[3] which have since yielded the majority of Thailand's palaeontological discoveries.[4][5]

Vertebrate palaeontology came into prominence in Thailand in 1980, when Thai geologists from the DMR cooperated with French scientists to begin expeditions in the Khorat Plateau.[5][6] Suteethorn, one of the first members of the dinosaur expedition team, learned how to preparare and conserve fossils in France and Canada and in 1986 was granted a Certificate of Vertebrate Palaeontology by the University of Paris VI, France.[3] The same year, the spinosaurid dinosaur species Siamosaurus suteethorni was named in honour of his palaeontological efforts in Thailand, by the French palaeontologist Éric Buffetaut and his Thai colleague Rucha Ingavat.[7] Suteethorn has been head of the Thai dinosaur research team since 1992[3] and continues to find new dig sites, which are subject to cataloguing and routine checks from his team, although excavation has not begun in many of them.[1]

In 2006 Suteethorn was given the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's Skinner Award.[3] In 2018, he received the Explorer Award from the National Geographic Society, during their annual Explorer's Festival.[8] He is currently lecturer and director of the Palaeontological Research and Education Centre of Mahasarakham University.[1][2]

Taxa named by Suteethorn alone or with co-authors[edit]

Suteethorn has helped name and describe (often in cooperation with Buffetaut) many fossil vertebrates from the Khorat Plateau, including extinct dinosaurs, fish, crocodylomorphs, mammals, and turtles.[3][9] His team from the Mahasarakham University discovered various fossil mammals in a Chaiyaphum cave, including teeth from pandas, hyenas, and the extinct orangutan Khoratpithecus piriyai.[1][10]


Map of the Khorat Plateau in northeast Thailand and the various geological formations it is composed of







  1. ^ a b c d Wangkiat, Paritta (June 2016). "The dinosaur hunter seeking more than just bare bones". Bangkok Post Public Company Limited. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Scientist – Dr. Warawut Suteethorn". Science and Technology Infrastructure Databank. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "2006 (Skinner Award) Varavudh Suteethorn". Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. 2006.
  4. ^ Buffetaut, Eric; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Cuny, Gilles; Tong, Haiyan; Košir, Adrijan; Cavin, Lionel; Chitsing, Suwanna; J. Griffiths, Peter (1 October 2005). "Minute theropod eggs and embryo from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand and the dinosaur-bird transition". Naturwissenschaften. 92 (10): 477–482. Bibcode:2005NW.....92..477B. doi:10.1007/s00114-005-0022-9. PMID 16158273. S2CID 26168801.
  5. ^ a b Boonchai, N; Grote, Paul; Jintasakul, P (1 January 2009). "Paleontological parks and museums and prominent fossil sites in Thailand and their importance in the conservation of fossils". PaleoParks – the Protection and Conservation of Fossil Sites Worldwide: 75–95.
  6. ^ Fuller, Thomas (July 2010). "Old Bones Yield a New Age of Dinosaurs". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  7. ^ Buffetaut, E.; and Ingevat, R. (1986). Unusual theropod dinosaur teeth from the Upper Jurassic of Phu Wiang, northeastern Thailand. Rev. Paleobiol. 5: 217-220.
  8. ^ "Explorer Awards 2018: ดร.วราวุธ สุธีธร – National Geographic Thailand". National Geographic Thailand. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Varavudh Suteethorn | Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham | Palaeontological Research and Education Centre". ResearchGate. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Jintasakul, Pratueng; Vidthayanon, Chavalit; Marandat, Bernard; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques (2004). "A new orang-utan relative from the Late Miocene of Thailand". Nature. 427 (6973): 439–441. Bibcode:2004Natur.427..439C. doi:10.1038/nature02245. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 14749830. S2CID 4349664.
  11. ^ Carrano, M. T.; Benson, R. B. J.; Sampson, S. D. (2012). "The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10 (2): 211–300. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.630927. S2CID 85354215.
  12. ^ Martin, V.; Buffetaut, E.; Suteethorn, V. (1994). "A new genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Sao Khua formation (Late Jurassic or early Cretaceous) of northeastern Thailand". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences de Paris. 319 (2): 1085–1092.
  13. ^ Buffetaut, Eric; Suteethorn, Varavudh (1992). "A new species of the ornithischian dinosaur Psittacosaurus from the Early Cretaceous of Thailand". Palaeontology. 35: 801–812.
  14. ^ Buffetaut, E.; Suteethorn, V.; Cuny, G.; Tong, H.; Le Loeuff, J.; Khansubha, S.; Jongautchariyakul, S. (2000). "The earliest known sauropod dinosaur". Nature. 407 (6800): 72–74. Bibcode:2000Natur.407...72B. doi:10.1038/35024060. PMID 10993074. S2CID 4387776.
  15. ^ Buffetaut, E. (2009). "An early 'ostrich dinosaur' (Theropoda: Ornithomimosauria) from the Early Cretaceous Sao Khua Formation of NE Thailand". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 315 (1): 229–243. Bibcode:2009GSLSP.315..229B. doi:10.1144/SP315.16. S2CID 128633687.
  16. ^ Eric Buffetaut and Varavudh Suteethorn (2011). "A new iguanodontian dinosaur from the Khok Kruat Formation (Early Cretaceous, Aptian) of northeastern Thailand". Annales de Paléontologie. 97 (1–2): 51–62. doi:10.1016/j.annpal.2011.08.001.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ Cavin, Lionel; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Khansubha, Sasidhorn; Buffetaut, Eric; Tong, Haiyan (2003). "A new Semionotid (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii) from the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous of Thailand". Comptes Rendus Palevol. 2 (5): 291–297. doi:10.1016/s1631-0683(03)00062-9. ISSN 1631-0683.
  18. ^ Henri, Cappetta; Buffetaut, Eric; Cuny, Gilles; Suteethorn, Varavudh (1 May 2006). "A new elasmobranch assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand". Palaeontology. 49 (3): 547–556. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00555.x.
  19. ^ a b Cuny, Gilles; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Kamha, Suchada; Buffetaut, Eric; Philippe, Marc (2006). "A new hybodont shark assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand". Historical Biology. 18 (1): 21–31. doi:10.1080/08912960500510495. ISSN 0891-2963. S2CID 128907999.
  20. ^ Khamha, Suchada; Cuny, Gilles; Lauprasert, Komsorn (24 December 2015). "Revision of Isanodus paladeji (Elasmobranchii, Hybodontiformes) from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand". PalZ. 90 (3): 533–541. doi:10.1007/s12542-015-0282-4. ISSN 0031-0220. S2CID 131660636.
  21. ^ Cavin, Lionel; Suteethorn, Varavudh (16 March 2006). "A new semionotiform (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii) from Upper Jurassic – Lower Cretaceous deposits of North-East Thailand, with comments on the relationships of semionotiforms". Palaeontology. 49 (2): 339–353. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00539.x.
  22. ^ Cavin, Lionel; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Buffetaut, Eric; Claude, Julien; Cuny, Gilles; Le Loeuff, Jean; Tong, Haiyan (12 December 2007). "The first sinamiid fish (Holostei: Halecomorpha) from Southeast Asia (Early Cretaceous of Thailand)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27 (4): 827–837. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2007)27[827:tfsfhh];2. ISSN 0272-4634.
  23. ^ CAVIN, LIONEL; SUTEETHORN, VARAVUDH; BUFFETAUT, ERIC; TONG, HAIYAN (2007). "A new Thai Mesozoic lungfish (Sarcopterygii, Dipnoi) with an insight into post-Palaeozoic dipnoan evolution". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 149 (2): 141–177. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2007.00238.x. ISSN 1096-3642.
  24. ^ Cuny, Gilles; Cavin, Lionel; Suteethorn, Varavudh (2009). "A new hybodont with a cutting dentition from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand". Cretaceous Research. 30 (3): 515–520. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2008.09.003. ISSN 0195-6671.
  25. ^ Cuny, Gilles; Liard, Romain; Deesri, Uthumporn; Liard, Tida; Khamha, Suchada; Suteethorn, Varavudh (3 December 2013). "Shark faunas from the Late Jurassic—Early Cretaceous of northeastern Thailand". Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 88 (3): 309–328. doi:10.1007/s12542-013-0206-0. ISSN 0031-0220.
  26. ^ Cavin, Lionel; Deesri, Uthumporn; Suteethorn, Varavudh (2013). "Osteology and relationships of Thaiichthysnov. gen.: a Ginglymodi from the Late Jurassic – Early Cretaceous of Thailand". Palaeontology. 56 (1): 183–208. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2012.01184.x. ISSN 0031-0239.
  27. ^ Lauprasert, K.; Cuny, G.; Thirakhupt, K. and Suteethorn, V. 2009. Khoratosuchus jintasakuli gen. et sp. nov., an advanced neosuchian crocodyliform from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) of NE Thailand. In E. Buffetaut, G. Cuny, J. Le Loeuff, V. Suteethorn (eds.), Late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic Ecosystems in SE Asia. The Geological Society of London, Special Publication 315:175–187.
  28. ^ Lauprasert, Komsorn; Laojumpon, Chalida; Saenphala, Wanitchaphat; Cuny, Gilles; Thirakhupt, Kumthorn; Suteethorn, Varavudh (2011). "Atoposaurid crocodyliforms from the Khorat Group of Thailand: first record of Theriosuchus from Southeast Asia". Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 85 (1): 37–47. doi:10.1007/s12542-010-0071-z. S2CID 128623617.
  29. ^ Martin, Jeremy E.; Lauprasert, Komsorn; Buffetaut, Eric; Liard, Romain; Suteethorn, Varavudh (18 November 2013). "A large pholidosaurid in the Phu Kradung Formation of north-eastern Thailand". Palaeontology. 57 (4): 757–769. doi:10.1111/pala.12086. ISSN 0031-0239.
  30. ^ Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Ducrocq, Stéphane (1997). "A new Late Eocene anthropoid primate from Thailand". Nature. 385 (6615): 429–431. Bibcode:1997Natur.385..429C. doi:10.1038/385429a0. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 9009188. S2CID 1466613.
  31. ^ Naksri, Wilailuck; Tong, Haiyan; Lauprasert, Komsorn; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Claude, Julien (2013). "A new species of Cuora (Testudines: Geoemydidae) from the Miocene of Thailand and its evolutionary significance". Geological Magazine. 150 (5): 908–922. Bibcode:2013GeoM..150..908N. doi:10.1017/S0016756812001082. ISSN 0016-7568.
  32. ^ Tong, Haiyan; Naksri, Wilailuck; Buffetaut, Eric; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Suteethorn, Suravech; Deesri, Uthumporn; Sila, Saitong; Chanthasit, Phornphen; Claude, Julien (2015). "A new primitive eucryptodiran turtle from the Upper Jurassic Phu Kradung Formation of the Khorat Plateau, NE Thailand". Geological Magazine. 152 (1): 166–175. Bibcode:2015GeoM..152..166T. doi:10.1017/S0016756814000223. ISSN 0016-7568.
  33. ^ Fontaine, Henri; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Vachard, Daniel (1995). "The Carboniferous of northest Thailand: a review with new data". Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences. 12 (1–2): 1–17. Bibcode:1995JAESc..12....1F. doi:10.1016/0743-9547(95)00027-5. ISSN 0743-9547.