The Sahara Desert is not inhabited by many species of animals. But about 100 million years ago, it once provided a cozy home for some of Earth’s most dangerous animals, according to an archaeological study.
International scientists have just analyzed fossils found in the northern part of Western Sahara, belonging to the Kem Kem geological formation. This is a geological group along the border between Morocco and Algeria, whose stratigraphy originates from the Late Cretaceous and is considered a “boom period” for carnivores.
At that time, the Sahara was not yet a desert as it is now, but almost like a tropical rainforest, with a very diverse habitat and… terrifying to humans. The team said: “Currently there is no ecosystem on Earth that contains large carnivores like the Kem Kem group. Although limited to North Africa, Kem Kem has a high degree of diversity. biodiversity surpasses that of modern Africa”.
Once upon a time, the Sahara was still a rainforest full of ferocious creatures like this (Art: Davide Bonadonna)
In fact, the fossils found in the Kem Kem geological formation have been displayed all over the world, because they are located not too deep underground. Some fossils are about 100 million years old, which means that humans have never come into contact with these ancient creatures and certainly do not want any collision.
Why? Because the Kem Kem geological formation is considered “the scariest place in Earth’s history, a coordinate where any time traveler would soon perish,” according to Associate Professor Dr. Nizar Ibrahim from the university. Detroit Mercy University (USA), also the leader of this archaeological research team, confirmed.
Fossils of Kem Kem group include species such as tyrannosaurs, pterosaurs (winged lizards), ancient crocodiles and many species of “monsters” that lived in the water.
Spinosaurus specializes in catching fish is a fierce animal that even in dreams no one wants to encounter (Art: Davide Bonadonna)
“That place was full of giant sea monsters, which are ancestors of today’s coelacanth and lungfish, but four to five times larger,” said lecturer David Martill from the University of Portsmouth (UK) on the research team.
In addition, the Kem Kem geological group also has “a freshwater fish with an appearance similar to a shark. It has the scientific name of onchopristis, the snout is full of thorns like daggers that look very scary but also beautiful iridescent. ” – added instructor Martill.
The onchopristis (bottom) is just a “goldfish” compared to the huge animals of ancient times (Image: Pinterest)
The above findings are extracted from a study published in the journal ZooKeys, a collaboration between universities in Detroit, Chicago, Montana (USA), Portsmouth, Leicester (UK), Casablanca (Morocco), Montreal (USA). Canada) and the Natural History Museum of Paris (France). This study is considered the most comprehensive on the subject of fossils in the Sahara among the reports from 1936 to the present.