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Friday, January 10, 2014

The First Arabian Peninsula Dinosaurs discovered

An international team of paleontologists for the first time identify the species of dinosaurs that lived in the Arabian peninsula, said a Swedish scientist, on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 as quoted on Middle East Online.

The researchers found teeth and bones from about 72 million years ago in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, along the Red Sea coast, said a statement from the University of Uppsala.

One of the exceptionally rare tail 
vertebrae from Saudi Arabia's first 
described giant titanosaurid 
sauropod. This dinosaur was 
probably in excess of 20 m 
long when alive. (Picture from:
  http://www.livescience.com/)
That area is now a wasteland, but once believed with African beach is under water. Skeletal remains were found is the tail bone from a sauropod titanosaurid, herbivores are estimated measuring 20 meters (65 feet), and the teeth belonging to a abelisaurid, a carnivorous theropod about six meter in length.

"Dinosaur fossils are exceptionally rare in the Arabian Peninsula, with only a handful of highly fragmented bones documented this far" says Dr Benjamin Kear, based at Uppsala University in Sweden and lead author of the study.

This isolated tooth evidences 
the first identifiable carnivorous 
theropod dinosaur from the 
Arabian Peninsula. Abelisaurids like 
this specimen have been found in
the ancient Gondwanan landmasses 
of North Africa, Madagascar and 
South America. (Picture from:
  http://www.livescience.com/)
"This discovery is important not only because of where the remains were found, but also because of the fact that we can actually identify them. Indeed, these are the first taxonomically recognizable dinosaurs reported from the Arabian Peninsula," says Benjamin Kear, an Australian paleobiologist in the statement.

"Dinosaur remains from the Arabian Peninsula and the area east of the Mediterranean Sea are exceedingly rare because sedimentary rocks deposited in streams and rivers during the Age of Dinosaurs are rare, particularly in Saudi Arabia itself" says Dr Tom Rich from Museum Victoria in Australia.

When these dinosaurs were alive, the Arabian landmass was largely underwater and formed the north-western coastal margin of the African continent. "The hardest fossil to find is the first one. Knowing that they occur in a particular area and the circumstances under which they do, makes finding more fossils significantly less difficult" says Dr Rich.

The findings were written jointly by Australia, Sweden and Saudi Arabia researchers under the auspices of the Saudi Geological Survey, and published in late December, 2013 in the PLoS ONE scientific journal. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | E! SCENCE NEWS | LIVESCIENCE]
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