26_September [Archives:2008/1158/Press Review]

May 26 2008

Thursday, May 22
Top Stories

– Yemeni Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 18th Anniversary of National Unity

– French government supports information network in Yemen's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

– First dinosaur tracks on Arabian discovered in Yemen

Scientists have discovered that the first dinosaur tracks on the Arabian Peninsula, which include footprints of the sauropod herd and ornithopod were existing in Yemen. The website reported. Discovered along a Mesozoic coastal mudflat, these dino footprints were found by Anne Schulp of the Maastricht Museum of Natural History in the Netherlands, along with Ohio University paleontologist Nancy Stevens and Mohammed Al-Wosabi of Sana'a University in Yemen.

“No dinosaur trackways had been found in this area previously. It's really a blank spot on the map,” said Schulp. According to researchers, the finding also is an excellent example of dinosaur herding behavior. The site preserved footprints of 11 small and large sauropods – long-necked, herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods – traveling together at the same speed.

“It's rare to see such a big example of a dinosaur herd, said Schulp.”This is interesting social behavior for reptiles,” he added. One of the dino footprints was spotted by a Yemeni journalist in 2003, about 50 kilometers north of the capital of Sana'a in the village of Madar.

According to the website, Stevens, Al-Wosabi and Schulp identified it as the footprint of an ornithopod, a large common plant-eater sometimes referred to as the “cow of the Mesozoic,” that walked on its hind legs.Only a few dinosaur fossils have been reported so far from the Arabian Peninsula, including isolated bones from the Sultanate of Oman, which Schulp has studied, and possible fragments of a long-necked dinosaur from Yemen.