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Omani researchers search for more hadrosaur fossils

A team from the Geological Society of Oman (GSO) and the Oman Botanic Garden has embarked on a new project to discover more dinosaur fossils in the sultanate.

Omani researchers search for more hadrosaur fossils
Dinosaur fossils discovered during the earlier project 
[Credit: Muscat Daily]
This follows an earlier research conducted around 20 years ago during which dinosaur fossils were found scattered between Jiffnain and old Al Khoudh.

The researchers also found few fossils in north Fanja. The bones discovered represented the first evidence of hadrosaurs in Arabia.

The findings of this research were published in the open-access scientific journal PloS ONE. “Several elements of the hind leg were discovered earlier, and now with this project we hope to find more,” Dr Mohammed al Kindi, chairman of GSO told Muscat Daily.

Dr Kindi added, “The occurrence of the duck-billed hadrosaurs from the cretaceous period in Oman was surprising as they were thought to be found only in Europe and North America.

“The discoveries in Oman confirmed their presence in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. A closer look at the string of islands some geologists reconstructed in the now-disappeared Tethys Ocean revealed that these islands may have provided the necessary ‘stepping-stones’ for the hadrosaurs to make their way from Eurasia to Oman.”

Dr Kindi said the dinosaur fossils discovered from Al Khoudh belong to four different dinosaurs - ornithopod, hadrosaurs, terrapods and sauropods. “We are currently looking for fossils of other animals and plants from the cretaceous period. I thank everyone supporting the scientific research, which is led by H E Eng Mohsin bin Mohammed al Sheikh, chairman of Muscat Municipality and Eng Omar al Kathiri, project manager, Oman Botanic Garden. I hope that GSO's efforts bear fruit and we are able to discover more fossils and preserve them so that our generations can learn. It is our mission to conserve such discoveries.”

Author: Mohammad Taha | Source: Muscat Daily [March 13, 2016]

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