KSA : dinosaur discovery
In Saudi Arabia, near the coast of the Red Sea, the first evidence of dinosaurs was uncovered by an international team of scientists. Findings in the region have proven scarce or difficult to itemize. Dr. Benjamin Kear, a paleontologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, and the study’s lead author, attested to the fact that it’s the first time they could “confidently identify an Arabian dinosaur fossil with any degree of accuracy.” Together with his team, they uncovered 72-million-year-old fossils; the first being a series of vertebrae from the tail of a Titanosaur, the second were teeth from a Theropod.
Scientists believe that the Arabian Peninsula must have been underwater when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Past findings were too small in size to allow any certitude of dinosaurs in the region. In Yemen, a research team led by paleontologist Dr. Anne Schulp in 2008 uncovered the first dinosaur tracks found in the region near Sana’a.
Scarcity in dinosaur-related material in the Peninsula discourages research. Syria and Yemen are currently a no-go zone. Saudi Arabia most prevalent types of rocks aren’t the right types for capturing millennia-old land-based animals leading to the country’s lack of interest in research.
Kear hopes that the discovery will mark the beginning of many others that will allow the construction of a dinosaur museum in the kingdom. The discovery could gain the government’s attention to invest in such research work.
The discovery could play a role in sorting out answers about the history of the Earth and land formation explains a paleontologist professor. “The geological view has been skewed in the past towards oil exploration” says Kear but “for the first time, you can see the work is going somewhere, and leading to a lasting legacy.”