Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

MUFONET-BBS GROUP - MUTUAL UFO NETWORK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS - WIRE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 旼컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴커 =START= XMT: 10:19 Mon Mar 30 EXP: 10:00 Tue Mar 31 쿚MAN TO CONDUCT MORE DETAILED SEARCHES FOR FOSSILS IN DESERT 쿥EST OF GHABA (MARCH 30) MIDDLE EAST NEWS NETWORK - MUSCAT - Oman is to 쿬onduct more detailed searches for fossils in the gravel 쿭esert west of Ghaba, 100 kms from Nizwa, following the new 쿭iscoveries of fossils of an elephant and other animals at 퀃he place in February. 쿟he Ghaba fossils, belonging to the lower Miocene period, 쿪bout 17 million years ago, will provide important links 쿫etween the fossils of animals found in Dhofar in February 쿪nd three earlier expeditions, Mr. Zaher bin Khaled al- 쿞ulaimani, a member of the Omani-French fossil hunting team, 퀂aid yesterday. 쿟he Dhofar fossils are proven to be the oldest in the world, 퀁efuting the theory that elephants, monkeys and rodents 쿽riginated in Africa. 쿘r. Al-Sulaimani, who is a geologist at the Ministry of 쿛etroleum and Minerals told the Times in an exclusive 쿶nterview: ''In future hunts we will concentrate our 퀂earches in Ghaba to unearth more fossils of animals from 퀃he area.'' 쿟he next search will be undertaken in a couple of years or 쿮arlier, both in southern and northern Oman, but more time 퀇ill be spent in the northern region he added. 쿏uring the February expedition, the 8-member expedition team 퀂pent 20 days in Salalah and 10 days in Ghaba. Besides Mr. 쿌l-Sulaimani, the other Omani on the team was Mr. Salim al- 쿍usaidi, also working at the Ministry of Petroleum and 쿘inerals. 쿔n the February search, the team discovered fossilised teeth 쿽f elephants in both Ghaba and Dhofar, belonging to an 쿮xtinct species known as ''mastodons.'' 쿑ossils of rhinoceroses, giraffes, turtles and crocodiles 퀇ere also discovered. 쿟he fossils have been sent to the Natural History Museum in 쿛aris for analysis which will take six months to complete, 쿘r. Al-Sulaimani said. 쿞imilar fossils of elephants have been found in Africa, 쿐urope and Asia. ''The Omani finds are important because they prove that the 쿌rabian Peninsula was a kind of crossroad for mammal 쿭ispersion between Africa and Eurasia during the past,'' Mr. 쿌l-Sulaimani said. 쿟he latest Dhofar fossils are of a ''very primitive member 쿽f the elephant family.'' ''Their cheek teeth are considerably smaller than those of 쿹iving elephants and consist of four cusps of tubercles 쿪rranged in two ridges. '' ''In contrast, the Ghaba teeth are much larger, measuring 쿪bout 10 cm long and 4 cm wide and consist of 6 to 8 퀃ubercles arranged in pairs,'' he said. ''The Dhofar teeth belonged to an animal about the size of a 쿴ippopotamus, while those from Ghaba came from an animal 쿪lmost as big as the Indian elephant.'' ''Found alongside these extraordinary discoveries are the 쿫ones and teeth of many other terrestrial and freshwater 쿪nimals including rhinoceros, giraffes, turtles and 쿬rocodiles,'' Mr. Al-Sulaimani said. 쿟he assemblage of fossils from Ghaba indicates that the area 퀅sed to be much more humid during the lower Miocene period 퀃han it is now. 쿟he team also found fragments of fossilised palm trees 쿪ssociated with the ones and teeth. 쿟he climate in Ghaba was then probably like that of parts of 쿖enya in tropical Africa supporting a woodland or forest 퀆egetation and varied fauna, Mr. Al-Sulaimani said. 쿟he fossil finds indicate that ''Oman was separated from 쿌sia by the sea, but joined to Africa, which is why the 쿽lder Dhofar fauna (30 to 33 million years old) was similar 퀃o that from the rest of Africa and has species in common 퀇ith Asia or Europe.'' ''Oman is thus proving to be of major scientific importance 쿶n yielding crucial evidence concerning ancient faunas of 퀃he world and their distribution '' he said. ''As each time a fossil hunt is undertaken we find new 쿯ossils, we will continue our search for many years to 쿬ome,'' Mr. Al-Sulaimani added. 쿑rom: Times of Oman =END=


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank