35mn year old elephant fossils found in Dhofar

July 04, 2018

A five-member geological team has unearthed 35mn year old fossils of a primitive elephant and some mammals such as rodents in Adyam area in Dhofar.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, geologist Dr Mohamed Hilal al Kindi, the head of the team, said, “The excavation work which was supported by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC) began in January. The research team comprises three Omanis and two French experts from the French National Museum of Natural History.”

Dr Kindi said that some fossils as old as 35mn years were unearthed. “These fossils have bones and teeth of primitive mammals. Adyam area is known to have sedimentary layers, most of which are shallow seabed deposits or coastal marshes and lagoons. This area is known for marine fossils such as snails, sea sponge, corals, jellyfish and a variety of fish bones. Bones of mammals such as extinct elephants, primitive giraffes, primitive monkey teeth, fangs of animals resembling a rhinoceros and bones of turtles and crocodiles have been found in the area.”


Dr Kindi said that mammal fossils found in Adyam in south Dhofar and Al Ghaba area in south Dakhliyah are of great scientific significance. “This discovery will help us to find out the causes of migration of ancient mammals from south Africa to Europe and Asia.


“The bones and teeth of a primitive elephant found in Adyam is considered one of the most important fossils found in Oman so far. Excavations at the site are still continuing. All unearthed items will soon be submitted to MHC.”


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