Cities on the Red Sea are rich in calcium phosphate, which is formed mainly from bones, hence new dinosaur fossils may be discovered shortly, the Head of the Nature Protection Sector in the Ministry of Agriculture Ahmed Salama stated on February, 18th. Salama affirmed his perspective, saying that the same form of phosphate was found in El-Wahat el-Bahariya (Western Desert of Egypt), before discovering the dinosaur fossils which date back to 95 million years ago.
Dinosaur remains are usually found in the areas of marine and river sediments. These types of sediments are found at the Dakhla Oasis in central Egypt and El-Wahat el-Bahariya. The possibility of finding the remnants of dinosaurs so far the mystery of dinosaur extinction has not yet been solved.
A research team at the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center (MUVP) uncovered a new extremely rare dinosaur species, attracting the world’s attention to Egypt’s fossil record. Scientists call the finding an “incredible discovery,” describing it critical for science.
In cooperation with the Ohio University, the Leakey Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the National Science Foundation, the research team has conducted intensive studies on the fossil to discover its species.
The remains of the animal indicate that the dinosaur was a plant-eating Cretaceous Period creature, which paleontologists call Mansourasaurus Shahinae.
Findings show that the dinosaur was about 10 meters long and weighed 5,000 kg and was a member of a group called titanosaurs that included the earth’s largest-ever land animals.
“Its remains are the most complete of any mainland African land vertebrate during an even larger time span, roughly 30 million years before the dinosaur mass extinction 66 million years ago,” said paleontologist Hesham Sallam of Egypt’s Mansoura University, who led the study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. The African continent is unexplored in terms of dinosaur fossils and the new finding in Egypt helps shed light on the fossil record there.
During the cretaceous era, Egypt’s Western Desert was one of the most fertile areas in the region and attracted many organisms including dinosaurs. After doing extensive studies, the team discovered a link between Mansourasaurus and a European dinosaur, indicating the possibility of the presence of a bridge that linked Africa and Europe millions of years ago.
This is one of the reasons why this discovery is particularly significant; a land bridge between Europe and Africa is plausible because scientists believe that there was no land link from northern Asia and Europe to the southern bloc which modern day Africa was a part of.
For the last 30 million years, the course of dinosaur evolution in Africa has remained much of a mystery.
Dr Matt Lamanna of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, a study co-researcher, said that his jaw “hit the floor” when he saw the pictures of the fossils. “This was the Holy Grail,” he said, He continued, “A well-preserved dinosaur from the end of the Age of Dinosaurs in Africa that we paleontologists had been searching for a long, long time.”