Fossils up to 80 million years old discovered in Saudi Arabia

Red Sea Development Company plans to develop the sites where fossils were found into tourist attractions

Remains of extinct marine animals ranging between 16 and 80 million years old were discovered in Saudi Arabia's Azlam Formation in the Tabuk region. Photo: @SgsOrgSa / Twitter
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Fossils of extinct marine animals ranging between 16 and 80 million years old have been discovered in Saudi Arabia's Azlam Formation in the Tabuk region along the Red Sea coast, between the governorates of Duba and Umluj.

The discoveries were made by a team of experts during their fossil research exploration for the Saudi Geological Survey, which started at the beginning of February.

The discoveries of fossil sites will be developed into tourist attractions in the future, as part of the Red Sea Development Company projects.

“The spirit of adventure has always been tied to the essence of discovery. Our destination is already home to the site of Saudi Arabia’s first underwater excavation, but above the water, we are now finding geological and paleontological evidence of millions of years of activity in the region,” says John Pagano, chief executive of the development company.

Some of the fossils were from marine reptiles found buried in the sediments of the Late Cretaceous period, and they were identified as Mosasaurs and Plesiosaurs.

The Red Sea and Amaala project areas also contain fossils of different types of vertebrates and invertebrates and the remains of plants that lived in shallow and coastal marine environments dating back to modern medium and modern geological life.

Mosasaurs are marine reptiles characterised by huge cylindrical bodies like crocodiles that lived in the Mesozoic era. Plesiosaurs had smaller skulls, longer necks and thin bodies.

The Red Sea Development Company and the Saudi Geological Survey will continue to carry out advanced geological and paleontological research across both Red Sea Project and Amaala sites in the kingdom.

Updated: October 12, 2022, 1:23 PM
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