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4/4/05

Two Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Kerman

Tehran, Apr. 3 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) - Two dinosaur footprints have newly been discovered in the fossil-rich area of Kerman, raising the number of the footprints discovered there so far to five.

Many fossil treasures have been discovered in Kerman province, central Iran, prompting experts to name the area as "Iran's paleontology heaven". The discoveries include fish fossils from the Devonian era (dating to 395 million to 365 million years ago, from the Paleozoic era), dinosaur fossils dating to sometime in between 195 to 65 million years ago, and some mammal fossils dating to 2 to 7 million years ago.

According to paleontologist of Iran's Natural History Museum, Amir Hussein Kokabinezhad, the new discovery came as a result of extensive studies carried out in the fossil-rich areas of Kerman, where previously two other footprints from the Jurassic period (195 to 65 million years ago) were unearthed.

Moulds have been taken of the footprints to help experts identify the type and exact time period of the dinosaurs. Experts are going to study the footprints along with fossils remaining of the bone and eggs of dinosaurs, hopeful to get their hands on information on the area's environment when the creatures chose it as their inhabitant, explained kokabinezhad.

Since the new footprints are discovered in deeper earth layers than the previous ones, experts are concluding that they should be older than the rest.

Iran is a fossil-rich county that has its say in the paleontology world. Fossil studies were reignited in Iran, after a 26-year gap, two years ago in Maragheh area, northwest of Iran, expanding later on to Kerman province. The excavations in Kerman have so far led to the discovery of fossils of giant animals dating to some one million year ago.

... Payvand News - 4/4/05 ... --



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