First dinosaurs in Arabian peninsula identified

Updated 29 April 2014
0

First dinosaurs in Arabian peninsula identified

STOCKHOLM: An international team of paleontologists has for the first time identified dinosaur species that lived in the Arabian peninsula, Swedish scientists said Tuesday.
The researchers found teeth and bones dating from around 72 million years ago in the northwestern part of the region, along the coast of the Red Sea in what is today Saudi Arabia, Uppsala University said in a statement.
The area now a desert, but at the time it was a beach on the African coast, and the Arabian landmass was largely underwater.
The remains are tail vertebrae from a titanosaurid sauropod, an herbivore which was probably longer than 20 meters (65 feet), and teeth belonging to an abelisaurid, a carnivorous theropod which was around six meters long.
“These are the first taxonomically recognizable dinosaurs reported from the Arabian peninsula,” Australian paleobiologist Benjamin Kear said in the statement.
“Dinosaur fossils are exceptionally rare in the Arabian peninsula, with only a handful of highly fragmented bones documented this far.”
The finding is very rare because sedimentary rocks deposited in streams and rivers in the region during the Age of Dinosaurs are quite uncommon.
“Similar dinosaurs have been found in North Africa, Madagascar and as far away as South America,” the researchers said in the statement.
The finds, jointly authored by Australian, Saudi and Swedish researchers and under the auspices of the Saudi Geological Survey, were published in late December on the scientific journal PLOS ONE.


India to make new bid to launch Moon rocket on Monday

Updated 18 July 2019
0

India to make new bid to launch Moon rocket on Monday

  • India would become the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon
  • The project is one of the cheapest amongst its kind internationally

NEW DELHI: India will make a new bid to launch a landmark mission to the Moon on Monday, a week after aborting lift-off at the last minute because of a fuel leak, officials said.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said it had rescheduled the launch of Chandrayaan-2, or Moon Chariot-2, for 2:43 p.m. (0913 GMT) on Monday.
India is aiming to become just the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon.
Indian space chiefs called off the planned launch of the rocket 56 minutes before blast-off on Monday morning because of what ISRO called a “technical snag.”
Media reports quoted ISRO scientists saying a helium fuel leak had been detected.
India has spent about $140 million on preparations for the project, which is one of the cheapest among international space powers.
By comparison, the United States spent about $25 billion — the equivalent of more than $100 billion in current prices — on 15 Apollo missions in the 1960s and 70s.
The rocket will launch from a space center in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
It will carry an orbiter, lander and a rover which has been almost entirely designed and made in India.
The orbiter is meant to keep circling the Moon for about one year, taking pictures of the surface and sending back information on the atmosphere.
A lander named Vikram will take the rover to the surface near the lunar South Pole.
India’s first lunar mission in 2008 — Chandrayaan-1 — did not land on the Moon, but carried out a search for water using radar.
A soft landing on the Moon would be a huge leap forward in India’s space program, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi determined to launch a manned mission into space by 2022.
India also has ambitions to land a probe on Mars. In 2014, India became only the fourth nation to put a satellite into orbit around the Red Planet.