RIYADH: A survey at the Red Sea area has unraveled some significant findings, with the initial excavation leading to the discovery of fossils of the giant Mosasaur — often called “The T-Rex of the Sea” — dating back more than 80 million years.
The project is considered to be one of the largest surveys in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Red Sea Development Co., the developer behind the ambitious regenerative tourism project, and the exploration authority Saudi Geological Survey have discovered remains of marine reptiles during their 10-day initial digging, besides unearthing various samples spanning from the late Cretaceous to the Eocene period — roughly 80 to 45 million years ago, a press release stated.
It said approximately half of the sites surveyed produced rare fossils, with researchers expecting to discover many more on future digs. “The findings represent the first record of marine mammals from the Paleogene period to be found in the Red Sea coastal area,” the release added.
TRSDC said it will continue to work with the authority to identify areas of unique geological importance, which will add to the tourism experiences offered by the Red Sea destination.
“This partnership is an extension of our firm commitment as a real estate development company responsible for locating, protecting and showing the world these natural treasures under our feet in the most appropriate way,” TRSDC CEO John Pagano said in a statement.
Given the growing interest in Saudi Arabia in “paleontology”, he said they expect their work will be an additional reason to promote interest in the discovery of ancient heritage buried along our coast.
Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project is expected to have 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The project will also include an international airport, luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, and leisure facilities.