The Sahara Was Most Dangerous Place On Earth 100 Million Years Ago, Say Scientists
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Despite 100 million years ago being difficult for many of us to picture, scientists have just given us the best look yet at the most dangerous place on Earth at that time.
All I’ll say is that if we do ever get to the point of having a time machine at our disposal, steer clear of Morocco during that time period.
That’s because an international team of scientists, led by palaeontologist Dr. Nizar Ibrahim of the University of Detroit Mercy and the University of Portsmouth, have come to the conclusion that the Sahara was the ‘most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth’.
In a press release from the University of Portsmouth, Dr. Ibrahim said:
This was arguably the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth, a place where a human time-traveller would not last very long.
This is largely down to the fact that some of the biggest predatory dinosaurs in history once roamed in this region.
The study, which looked at fossil vertebrates from an area of Cretaceous rock formations in south-eastern Morocco known as the Kem Kem Group, has been described as ‘the first detailed and fully illustrated account of the fossil-rich escarpment’ by the university.
At that time, the area featured a river system rich with aquatic and terrestrial animals, and as such it also contained many predators, ranging from huge land-bound dinosaurs to flying pterosaurs.
The University of Portsmouth’s David Martill, co-author of the study, said:
This place was filled with absolutely enormous fish, including giant coelacanths and lungfish.
The coelacanth, for example, is probably four or even five times large than today’s coelacanth.
There is an enormous freshwater saw shark called onchopristis with the most fearsome of rostral teeth – they are like barbed daggers, but beautifully shiny.
The study involved Dr. Ibrahim travelling all over the world to study Kem Kem Group fossils – something Martill described as ‘the most comprehensive piece of work on fossil vertebrates from the Sahara in almost a century’.
Artist Davide Banadonna painted a vivid image of a Jurassic Park-style land, filled with crocodile-like predators.
Yep, I think we’ll skip that one on our travel through time.
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Topics: Science, dinosaurs, fossils
CreditsUniversity of Portsmouth
University of Portsmouth
Palaeontologists reveal the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth