Dinosaur City

It might be not known to all that Ruwais was inhibited with Dinosaurs few million years ago ; a recent discovery showed that the fossil site is near Ruwais, and was first identified earlier in the year by an ADIAS team that was undertaking an impact assessment for TAKREER, the oil-refining arm of the ADNOC Group. Following the initial discovery, further work was undertaken in June and early October, indicating that the site has a multitude of important vertebrate fossil remains from the Late Miocene period, around 6 to 8 million years ago. Of the same date as sites already discovered in the early 1990s near Jebel Dhanna, the new Ruwais site has produced major discoveries, including fossil remains of elephants, hippopotami, horses, crocodiles and turtles. A 2.54 meter fossil elephant tusk is probably the most important of the finds.

The Late Stone Age focus on flint involves further work at a site at Abu Dhabi International Airport, first discovered and investigated by ADIAS in 1995. Over the years, natural erosion and the impact of occasional rainfall has brought more finds to the surface, including some important discoveries, while the evidence of Late Stone Age occupation at the Airport has now been shown to extend over a wider area than was originally recognized. The further work is designed to recover more information about what is now clearly recognized as one of the most important sites of its period anywhere in the Emirates.

Scientist found that eight million years ago Abu Dhabi had freshwater rivers everywhere and that it was much greener than it is today. “It had green vegetation and was wooded with acacia-like trees, very much like East Africa nowadays, with wet and dry seasons. It probably looked something like a protected game reserve in Kenya. Instead of the salt waters of the Arabian Gulf there lay vast savannah plains with perennial rivers that flowed into a massive channel that continued along the route of the Euphrates and the Tigris towards the Indian Ocean, near the present-day Straits of Hormuz.

Hyenas and wolverines were among the many predators to roam the green prehistoric landscape, with giraffes, baboons, Three-toed horses, gazelles and ostriches also gracing the emirate’s ancient plains. The passing of eight million years has brought evolutionary changes, adds Dr. Beech, who says some of the species are no longer found on the planet. Two varieties of elephants once roamed the lands. One species, called Dinotheres, sported two downward-curved tusks on its lower jaw, while the more prevalent Stegotetrabelodon syrticus had two enormous upper-jaw tusks and a smaller pair on the lower jaw for rooting through dense undergrowth. Large crocodiles and a slender-jawed relative lurked in the muddy river waters while saber-toothed cats – with the size, stealth and power of a tiger – waited in the greenery for a chance to kill. Less well-known species of animals have even earned their name from the emirate they once inhabited, with the gerbil Abudhabia baynunensis and the three toed horse Hipparion abudhabiense being two examples.


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