Soon, desert safari with dinosaurs in Saudi Arabia?

London, Jan 8 : Next time you plan to trip to Saudi Arabia, don't miss your date with dinosaurs.

In a sensational discovery, a global team of scientists have unearthed the first record of dinosaurs from Saudi Arabia.

"Dinosaur fossils are exceptionally rare in the Arabian Peninsula, with only a handful of highly fragmented bones documented this far," said lead author Benjamin Kear from Uppsala University in Sweden.

These fossils were found in the north-western part along the coast of the Red Sea.

The remains were discovered during excavations conducted by a team of scientists working under the auspices of the Saudi Geological Survey, Jeddah.

This discovery is important not only because of where the remains were found, but also because of the fact that the scientists could actually identify them, said the study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

"Indeed, these are the first taxonomically recognisable dinosaurs reported from the Arabian Peninsula," added Kear.

"Dinosaur remains from the Arabian Peninsula are exceedingly rare because sedimentary rocks deposited in streams and rivers during the Age of Dinosaurs are rare, particularly in Saudi Arabia itself," explained 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, said the study.

Similar dinosaurs have been found in North Africa, Madagascar and as far away as South America.

--IANS (Posted on 08-01-2014)

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