Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dinosaurs in Angola?

With the opening up of the country after the termination of the decades long civil war, researchers have now discovered a treasure of rare fossils in the country. Some palaeontologists describe Angola as, "The final frontier for palaeontology, since in some areas there are literally fossils sticking out of the rocks. It's like a museum in the ground." 

At this point, most of the fossils found, sauropods (land based dinosaurs as seen in this picture) and mosasaurs (aquatic based dinosaur species), have been discovered along the coast north of Luanda.

Much of Angola's fossil richness results from dramatic continental shifts thousands of years ago, which saw the land transform from tropic-rich areas that supported dinosaurs to a desert region along the coast.  According to similiar geology findings, these particular shifts contributed to the formation of the vast oil deposits off of the same Angolan north coasts.  More can be found on these explorations and research on this Discovery site. 

Though I personally struggle with the viewpoint of the timeline of millions of years required in the life of these fossils since I hold to a 'biblical young-earth, creationist' view i.e. a literal six day earth age as described in the book of Genesis, I find these fossil discoveries exciting.  Let us hope that influx of funds and effort in this research will ultimately benefit the Angola people.

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