December 17, 2008

Two New Species of Extinct Animals Found in The Saharan Desert

One of the most important discoveries in the Saharan Desert during the past 50 years was made by British and Moroccan scientists.

The team of paleontologists found the remains of two new species of extinct animals in the Saharan desert.

They believe they have unearthed a new species of pterosaur, a flying reptile from the Mesozoic era, and a new type of sauropod, a giant four-legged herbivore from the Jurassic period.

Portsmouth University said in a statement that the two animals, which were found in southeast Morroco near the Algerian border, date back around 100 million years.

The paleontologists hailed from the all over the world including the southern English based Portsmouth, University College Dublin in Ireland, and the Universite Hassan II in Casablanca in Morocco.

Researchers found a large fragment of a beak from a giant flying reptile, along with bone from a sauropod measuring more than 3.3 feet in length.

They believe the bone from the sauropod was larger, around 65 feet. They classify it as a dinosaur unlike the pterosaur.

"Finding two specimens in one expedition is remarkable, especially as both might well represent completely new species," said Nizar Ibrahim, a Dublin expert on North African dinosaurs.

Paleontologists say the amazing finds will be return to Morocco and be put on display for the public after they are studied in Dublin.


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