Saudi Arabia Milestone: Dinosaur Fossils

Scientists find first that can be identified in Arabian Peninsula
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2014 3:50 PM CST
Saudi Arabia Milestone: Dinosaur Fossils
The titanosaur might have looked something like this.   (Shutterstock)

A new fossil discovery confirms that dinosaurs roamed present-day Saudi Arabia. Researchers report in PLoS One that they found bone fragments of two different dinosaurs that lived about 72 million years ago. One is a distant cousin of T-Rex, a meat-eating theropod. The other is a plant-eating titanosaur, reports LiveScience. (At 65 feet long, it's aptly named.) A relative handful of dinosaur fossils have been found elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula, but these are the first ever found in Saudi Arabia and the first in the peninsula that can be identified as belonging to particular types of dinosaurs.

"The hardest fossil to find is the first one," says an Australian paleontologist quoted in Nature World News. "Knowing that they occur in a particular area and the circumstances under which they do, makes finding more fossils significantly less difficult." The excavation took place in an outcropping of sandstone known as the Adaffa formation near the city of Al Khuraybah. When the dinosaurs were alive, Arabia had yet to separate from Africa, notes LiveScience. (More dinosaurs stories.)

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