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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©


Tracing Dinosaurs in Central Iran

 

 

 

15 September 2005

 

By the latest paleontological studies on the fossil footprints of dinosaurs found near Kerman, southeast of Iran, the probability of discovering such paleontologic remains in central Iran has augmented.

In terms of fossils and prehistoric remains, Iran is considered one of the richest countries in the world. Beside Kerman, Varzaghan and Maragheh in northwest of Iran are among famous fossil rich zones of the country. In the last two years, Iranian paleontologists have managed to find fossil remains of an enormous dinosaur which dates back to over 1 million years ago.

“Discovering the extensions of Kerman fossil rich zone towards central parts of Iran (north and northwest of Kerman) like Tabas, Yazd, and Khorasan, has led to the belief that traces of such fossils possibly can be discovered in central Iran,” said Amir Hossein Kokabinejad, a paleontologist with Iran Natural History Museum.

Beside the discovery of coal mines in central provinces, finding plant fossils, which proved the conformity of the region’s vegetation with the taste of herbivore dinosaurs, has contributed to the hypothesis that the region was one of the dinosaurs’ natural habitats, around 200 million years ago.

Studies on fossils discovered in other countries so far have indicated that dinosaurs appeared on the earth some 230 to 235 million years ago in Triassic era, turned the earth into their own realm through the Jurassic era, and finally disappeared mysteriously towards the end of Cretaceous, about 160 million years ago. However, in this part of the world, which is known as Iran today, living conditions for dinosaurs was not suitable through Triassic and Cretaceous.

“Studies on fossils discovered in Iran have shown that Jurassic, especially Lower Jurassic era (200 to 180 million years ago) was the best time for Dinosaurs to breed and spread over the region. However, because of sea coming in the land and flooding a major part of the region during Triassic and Cretaceous, and the undesirable climatic conditions of the time, dinosaurs were not able to sustain here,” added Kokabinejad.

Noting the formation of Shemshak and Hoojak regions near Kerman, he continued, “Once having warm and humid climate and vegetation comprising primary plants and Gymnosperms, these regions were an ideal natural habitat for dinosaurs of that era, whose footprints fossils have discovered in ripple mark sandstones.”

Kerman province, in southeast of Iran, has always been renowned for its rich collection of vertebrates fossils belonging to various eras and periods. Paleontologists have unearthed countless fossils in this region so far, ranging from those of armored fish of Devonian era (395 to 365 million years ago) which is a subdivision of Paleozoic, to dinosaurs of Mesozoic (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous are subdivisions of this geological era), and even mammals of upper Tertiary dating back to 7 to 2 million years ago.

 

 

 

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