The geological history of these carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs, in the southern eastern desert, goes back more than 70 million years.
A few days ago, the President of New Valley University, Abdel Aziz Tantawi, announced the success of a joint research team between Cairo and New Valley Universities in making this important discovery, which was documented by publishing a research paper in the Geological Journal at the end of last December.
The research team included 3 Egyptian scientists; Two from the Department of Geology at the Faculty of Science at Cairo University, they are the assistant professor in the department, Walid Kassab, and the assistant professor, director of the vertebrate excavation laboratory at Cairo University, Muhammad Qarni, and the assistant professor of vertebrate fossils, at the Faculty of Science, New Valley University, and the director of the University’s Vertebrate Excavations Center, Jubeili Abu The good.
Doubts lead to discovery
At the beginning of 2018, paleontologists began searching in the area located on the road between (Qeft – Al-Qusayr) in the south of the Eastern Desert, after doubts were spoken by old professors at the Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, about the possibility of the presence of traces of dinosaurs in this area.
Qarni says: “More than 20 years ago, geology professors at Cairo University doubted the existence of traces of dinosaurs in this area, but my research was not formed at the time to verify the matter, because this specialization in scientific research was not popular at the time.”
And he added in his speech to “Sky News Arabia”, that these doubts led them to the search trip that culminated in this important discovery, and they were able to provide the first record of the presence of dinosaurs in the eastern desert, which contains mountains and huge and high rocks in its southern part, pointing to the presence of other recorded organisms. In this area in the fifties of the last century, like large lizards.
According to the study, researchers found 16 footprints of dinosaurs on layers of the Nubian sandstone, but the scientists were not yet able to find any of the structures of the dinosaurs.
But the Director of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Paleontology at Cairo University, confirms that these relics can provide a number of valuable information, such as lengths, sizes, and the type of dinosaurs. Carnivores stand on two legs, while herbivores dinosaurs stand on 4 feet.
He explains: “There are mathematical equations that enabled us to determine this data, as we identified two carnivorous dinosaurs, whose weights were estimated at 500 kg and 900 kg, and herbivorous dinosaurs were identified, their weights or lengths were not accurately identified, due to the difficulty of this process.
The director of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Paleontology at Cairo University says that the age of these dinosaurs is estimated at more than 70 million years, as they lived in the so-called Upper Cretaceous period, which began about 100 million and 66 million years ago.
And he continues: “Mystery surrounds ancient life in the Cretaceous period, as it is a largely unknown time period, and this scientific discovery is a new addition that contributes to deciphering that historical era in the continent of Africa.”
The importance of discovery
For his part, Abu al-Khair stresses the importance of the partnership between his University (The New Valley) and the mother universities such as Cairo University, noting that this partnership has recently resulted in the publication of a number of scientific research in the Western Desert.
He continued, in his speech to “Sky News Arabia”: “There are places in the Eastern Desert and Western Desert that contain the same era, and since 2000 AD, a number of studies have appeared that revealed the presence of dinosaurs in the Western Desert, as Dr. Ahmed Niazi at Cairo University indicated, to the possibility of the existence of dinosaurs in the Western Desert. Traces of dinosaurs in the area of a penguin (only – Al-Qusayr), which served as a motivation for us to search in the eastern desert.
Regarding the importance of the discovery, he says that the presence of dinosaur traces in this region enhances its scientific and touristic position; In addition to the scientific research that will continue there, the site is supposed to become a tourist attraction, due to its great scientific value, related to the recent discovery, or because of the presence of volcanic rocks and base rocks.
Also, this road is characterized by being an important tourist site; It was an ancient route for pilgrims, in addition to the presence of a number of antiquities from ancient Egyptian eras, such as the “Al-Fakheer mine”, which is the oldest mine in the world and dates back to the era of the ancient Egyptians.
And about future scientific efforts, the director of the Center for Vertebrate Fossils at New Valley University says: “We need huge research efforts during the coming period to find structures or parts of them for dinosaurs in the Eastern Desert.”