Experts Discover Another Dinosaur That Lived In The Sahara Desert 100 Million Years Ago
A team of Egyptian and American researchers have discovered another type of carnivorous dinosaur that was one of many that lived in what is now the Sahara Desert nearly 100 million years ago.
The new discovery of Abelisauridae, which some experts say could have been up to 11 meters (36 feet) long and weigh up to 3 tons (6,613 pounds), adds another fearsome predator to the list of those known to have co-existed. in the same area, with experts predicting that they may have survived side by side by specializing in eating different prey.
Ohio University said in a statement on June 8: “The as-yet-unnamed species fossil provides the earliest known record of the abelisaurid group of theropods from a middle-aged Cretaceous rock unit (ca. 98 million years) known as the Bahariya Formation, which is exposed in the Bahariya Oasis of the Western Desert of Egypt.”
The university said the central region of Egypt was famous in the early 20th century for providing specimens of a wide range of dinosaurs and that this fossil appeared to belong to an entirely new type of dinosaur.
It is also the first time that an abelisaurid fossil has been discovered in the Bahariya Formation.
The Abelisaurid dinosaur fossil is thought to date back to the mid-Cretaceous era, making it around 98 million years old, experts say.
The university explained in its statement, “Abelisaurid fossils had previously been found in Europe and many continents of today’s Southern Hemisphere, but never before in the Bahariya Formation.”
Ohio University graduate student Belal Salem led the study, based on work he initiated while a fellow at Mansoura University’s Center for Vertebrate Paleontology (MUVP ) in Mansoura, Egypt.
The fossil was reportedly recovered during an expedition to Bahariya Oasis in 2016, but it was only recently identified as a new species, with the study being published this month.
Salem said: “In the middle of the Cretaceous, Bahariya Oasis would have been one of the most terrifying places on earth.”
He added: “How all these huge predators managed to co-exist remains a mystery, although it probably has to do with the fact that they ate different things, that they adapted to hunt different prey.”
The university added: “The new vertebra has implications for the biodiversity of Cretaceous dinosaurs in Egypt and throughout the northern region of Africa. It is the oldest known Abelisauridae fossil from northeast Africa. Africa and shows that by the mid-Cretaceous these carnivorous dinosaurs extended over much of the northern part of the continent, east to west, from present-day Egypt to Morocco, south to the Niger and potentially beyond.
“Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus are also known from Niger and Morocco, and a close relative of Bahariasaurus has also been found in the latter country, suggesting that this large to gigantic theropod fauna coexisted throughout much of North Africa. at that time.”
Bahariya Oasis is recognized among paleontologists as the place where several extraordinary dinosaurs were first discovered in the early 20th century. But all the Bahariya dinosaur fossils collected before World War II were destroyed during the Allied bombing of Munich in 1944.
The study, published in the Royal Society Open Science, is titled “First Definitive Record of Abelisauridae (Theropoda: Ceratosauria) from the Cretaceous Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt.”
It was written by Belal S. Salem, Matthew C. Lamanna, Patrick M. O’Connor, Gamal M. El-Qot, Fatma Shaker, Wael A. Thabet, Sanaa El-Sayed, and Hesham M. Sallam.
Other experts who worked on the study also included Patrick O’Connor, professor of biomedical sciences at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Matt Lamanna, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History; Sanaa El-Sayed, doctoral student at the University of Michigan and former vice-director of MUVP; Hesham Sallam, professor at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Mansoura University and founding director of MUVP; and other colleagues from Benha University and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.