A team of international researchers has found the first dinosaur remains ever in Saudi Arabia, identifying two species that lived in what is now the Red Sea coastal region more than 72 million years ago, the Al Medina newspaper reported Sunday.
The scientists discovered parts of the tail of a Titanosaurus, a type of vegetarian dinosaur that measured at least 20 meters (66 feet) long, and some of the teeth of another dinosaur.
“This discovery is important not only for the fossils that were found, but also because of the fact that they have been able to be identified,” Benjamin Ker, the scientist in charge of the project and a researcher at Sweden’s Uppsala University, said.
These are the first dinosaur remains found on the Arabian Peninsula, Ker said.
The scarcity of fossils on the Arabian Peninsula is due to the fact that the sedimentary rocks there were formed in valleys and rivers during a geological epoch when there were few dinosaurs, Tom Rich, a member of Australia’s Museum Victoria, told the newspaper.
Remains similar to the ones found in Saudi Arabia have already been unearthed in North Africa, Madagascar and South America, Rich said.
The research team is comprised of Swedish, Australian and Saudi scientists from the University of Uppsala, the Museum Victoria, Australia’s Monash University and the Saudi Geological Service.