21 May, 2008

Dinosaur Tracks Near Sana'a

No dinosaur tracks had ever been found in the Arabian Peninsula before; but just about 30 kilometers from Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, fossils now reveal that a herd of 11 gigantic dinosaurs — sauropods - about 150 million years ago, left deep tracks into the earth. Near the same spot where the sauropod tracks were found, there are tracks of the two-legged plant-eating Ornithopods — a large, common vegetarian with birdlike, three-toed feet that walked on its hind legs. The dinosaurs, are said to have lived there nearly 150 million years ago; back then, the African and Arabian Peninsula land masses had not yet been separated by the Red Sea.

Researchers believe that the tracks – made by two different species of dinosaur – are just the first of many more that may lie undiscovered beneath the desert surface.

How the tracks went unnoticed and overlooked all these years, is baffling. There is no doubt that there is a lot more to be discovered under the Yemeni sands. The Yemen Geological Survey is now preserving this area and plans to improve its accessibility and make it a tourist attraction.

Photo from: The National Geographic